Our multi-purpose steel storage units in London may seem a far way away from the suburbs of Oakland, San Francisco… but have steel container, will travel. A recent news article took a peek into the illegal shipping container commune set up by graduate, Luke Iseman, who is attempting to turn his self-dubbed Cargotopia into a legitimate community.
Born out of a desire to create a cheap solution to rising rent in the Bay Area of San Francisco, Iseman inhabits a 160-square foot container. Due to their versatility and ability for self-modification there has been an increasing trend for steel container inhabitation and the building of modular container skyscrapers – this community, however, is illegal.
In Cargotopia there are currently 11 ‘residencies’. Iseman’s own personal container has a shower made from boat hulls, a camp stove and bamboo flooring. The community itself, however, currently resides inside a warehouse leased by Iseman, wherein they share communal toilets.
“New Model for Urban Development”
Iseman has found himself evicted from his two previous residencies by code enforcers, although he still remains firm behind his belief, stating, “We have an opportunity here to create a new model for urban development that’s more sustainable, more affordable and more enjoyable.”
According to The Department of Building Inspection, up to 60,000 San Franciscans are currently living in illegal housing, converting garages, offices and even their own living rooms into rentable locations. Tenants of Iseman’s containers boast a varied array of occupations, including programmers, a bicycle messenger and even a Facebook engineer.
Charging $1,000 a month to live in Cargotopia, Iseman is currently seeking a way to legitimise his operation. Patrick Carlisle, a chief market analyst in San Francisco, states that with the current rent being as high as it is, “People have to get creative. They do what they have to do.” Whilst we certainly can’t condone the breaking of any laws (obviously!), the community set up by Iseman is a perfect example of the increasing movement towards steel shipping containers for inhabitation.
Now, you’ve got to look us in the eyes and promise us that you aren’t going to be setting up any communes or illegal settlements any time soon… good. So, if you’re seeking our steel container provision service or would like to speak to one of our friendly container professionals, contact us on 020 8459 6972 where we will be eagerly awaiting your call.