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Carroll House

Brooklyn, NY

This private residence, located on a 25’x100′ corner lot in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, utilizes 21 recycled shipping containers for its superstructure. Silman leveraged the containers’ inherent load-carrying capabilities and common availability, coupled with conventional fabrication techniques, to “upcycle” these prefabricated modules.

The containers are diagonally sliced and arranged to form a dramatic cantilever over a garage ramp and entrance. Sliced corrugated walls form the parapet fence for privacy and fall protection on the tiered private rooftop terraces, which also feature elegant shade structures and solar panels.

The typical container floor structure beneath the plywood sheathing is cold-formed steel joists, which were locally reinforced for fireplaces, stair landings, and other features. The house’s foundation is conventional cast-in-place concrete on spread footings with supplementary conventional steel at the base to form supports for the container “casting nodes.” Connections between adjacent container castings use industrial clamps and/or welding.

Retrofitted openings in walls, floors, and ceilings were typically framed with steel members welded to the base structure. Work within each container module was done offsite, allowing an expedient and efficient overall assembly.

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The exterior facade of the building is the container corrugated steel wall itself, and the facade backup structure was reinforced with struts to form a cantilevering truss so that the large areas of corrugated wall could avoid expensive fireproofing requirements.

The exterior facade of the building is the container corrugated steel wall itself, and the facade backup structure was reinforced with struts to form a cantilevering truss so that the large areas of corrugated wall could avoid expensive fireproofing requirements.

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