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Container home brings high-end functions to tiny prefab market

Concerned about the California housing market, friends Nate Garnero & Doug Burdge decided to make a high-end, prefab container home at a fraction of the cost of alternatives. They came with Buhaus, a high-end, custom-finished container home.

In the past couple of decades, shipping containers have been injected into architecture as a cheap, available resource or a stackable one; Buhaus encloses the original box in polished aluminum to create a high-end aesthetic.

“About 6 or 7 years ago one of my clients he wanted a pod or box,” explains Buhaus cofounder Nate Garnero. “I came with a container concept because I’d been doing it for awhile and he didn’t like it looking like a container. And so the cladding was just kind of our thing to make it look like an architectural box.”

The original doors are still operable and open to create a large indoor/outdoor bathroom/shower. The cladding isn’t just a design feature, but serves as insulation and a barrier to wildfires; the designers were reacting to the 2018 Woolsey Fire that ripped through their native Malibu.

“At 160 sq feet, Buhaus is comfortable, customizable and compact and is equipped with a bedroom and bathroom space. Deriving from the 20th-Century German architectural movement “bauhaus”, Buhaus is our model for Malibu… Buhaus is a living unit designed to be used as a guest house, backyard office, or studio.”