Home / News / Smith Gee Studio's 83 Freight is North America's largest residential shipping container project introducing innovative housing

Smith Gee Studio's 83 Freight is North America's largest residential shipping container project introducing innovative housing

May 14, 2023May 14, 2023

Nashville, Tennessee

Hunter Gee of Smith Gee Studio has introduced a bold, innovative housing project for FMBC Investments to Nashville's Wedgewood-Houston area, a historically industrial working-class neighborhood that has recently begun a revitalization embracing its past along with a growing maker and artisan community.

Project 83 Freight provides modern, sustainable living options through an architecture of reflection, inspiration, and a sense of place and unity representative of its location.

Made of 173 shipping containers, stacked, rotated, and offset to form three buildings, project 83 Freight consists of 83 residential units including micro-studios, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom flats.

83 Freight has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

The design expresses the raw materiality and simple utilitarian construct of the boxes both inside and out.

Leaving the exteriors weathered and tagged with ISO identification codes, the "one trip" containers exploit the remains of an environmentally imbalanced transport economy.

Inside, exposed metal fluted ceilings and the refinished original marine-grade plywood floors remind the user of the journeys their homes once made.

High-density construction utilizing repurposed shipping containers presented many challenges including limited interstitial space between containers, the lack of approved wall and floor/ceiling assemblies, maintaining structural integrity, acoustics, thermal insulation, and the alignment of vertical utilities.

Innovative solutions, including proprietary structural model analyses and extensive collaboration with local code officials to develop unique assemblies, helped create this contemporary and sustainable community.

Utilizing shipping containers offers the ability to construct modularly.

83 Freight's containers were modified off-site with shop-cut door, window, and utility openings along with wall section removal and were structurally reinforced.

This early integrative approach, coupled with factory-built control, provided a cost-effective and efficient building solution with decreased site construction times, reduced waste, and lower construction uncertainties.

Project: 83 Freight Architects: Smith Gee StudioLead Architect: Hunter GeeGeneral Contractor: Capital City ConstructionClient: FMBC InvestmentsPhotographers: Matthew Carbone and v3 Realty

Nashville, Tennessee