Unique Ecofriendly Farmstay
Home South Africa|September 2021
Two shipping containers enhanced with a shapely design were transformed into a unique ecofriendly farmstay.
Kim Arendse

THE HOMEOWNERS Claire and Duncan Dicey

WHERE Wolseley, Western Cape

SIZE 106m²

The pod is made up of two connected containers covered with Chromadek. To boost the pod’s structural integrity, support beams were added between the container ceiling and the sloping steel container roof.

Indigenous garden design by Johann van Biljon of Intaba Environment Services

Heat-resistant steel panels cut from the containers, such as this one behind the fireplace on the stoep and another one in the living area (see right), were built in to enhance structural integrity. Sustainable Lunawood was used for the deck.

Storage seating by Sublime Cupboards; cushions and covers by Tannie Elmarie; kist from Carl Stassen Auctioneers; sarong from Arabesque

The view of the Mostertshoek mountain through the curved frame of the deep undercover stoep is a showstopper.

The wooden cladding in combination with the curve creates a sense of being nestled. –Claire

In 2018, we featured Claire and Duncan Dicey’s first shipping container conversion: a self-contained guest cottage on their fruit farm Palmietvlei in Wolseley.

That conversion boasted the typical box shape of an old shipping container; but since then, Claire and Duncan have come up with many more creative plans and they couldn’t wait to get stuck into their next project.

The couple rent container homes out on Airbnb as holiday accommodation on their 80-hectare blueberry and pear farm in the Western Cape, with panoramic views of the Mostertshoek mountain.

Their latest project, the CouplesPod, is a real eye-catcher – mostly due to its rounded shape, reminiscent of an iconic American Airstream caravan. But there’s more to this container home than meets the eye; it’s still a shipping container, but with a brand-new frock!

When the Dicey's said they wanted “something different”, Len Douglas of Innovative Modular Concepts, who constructed the pod, suggested an interesting, curved shape. Never one to shy away from a challenge, he started making plans – but he readily admits that it was tricky to give a rectangular shipping container a curvy look. In the end, this innovative design not only creates aesthetic appeal, but the rounded sides also add an extra 6m² floor space.

“The shape of the pod works beautifully in this setting and the windows create ‘framed’ views that change according to the time of day – it’s really special,” says Claire, a horse trainer who also organizes equestrian events and safaris through her company Equiknow.

“We export the fruit from the farm in shipping containers and love the fact that after many long voyages, two containers have come full circle to rest right here.”

Dark grey and wood create warmth in the compact kitchen, while diagonal subway tiles add visual interest.

In the kitchen, additional floor space afforded by the pod’s curve was used for a built-in storage bench and cupboards.

Vinyl-wrapped cupboards in gunmetal grey by Sublime Cupboards

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