This ‘Starburst’ house made from shipping containers is on the market for $3.5M—and it hasn’t even been built yet

Whitaker Studio

Proving shipping containers can be used to create modern-day architectural marvels, a “Starburst” home on the front porch of Joshua Tree National Park is on the market for $3.5 million — and it hasn’t even been built yet.

The geometric gem was designed by London-based Whitaker Studio, and it makes use of 21 rectangular shipping containers that are arranged and locked together to mimic an exploding star in the middle of the Southern California desert, just one mile from the entrance of Joshua Tree. Construction is scheduled to start in 2021. However, available renderings give a sneak peek of what the Starburst House will look like nestled in its rocky surroundings.

Whitaker Studio

“American Psycho” film producer Chris Hanley commissioned the architecture studio to design the home for his Joshua Tree estate, according to Business Insider.

The starburst concept is actually a more than a decade in the making, though. Some friends of architect James Whitaker asked him to look at a stack of wooden blocks they placed on their kitchen table as they were dreaming up what their advertising agency office could look like, according to a press release. In 2010, Whitaker designed the Starburst building with an office in mind.

But his friends’ start-up came to a stop and the office was never built.

Enter film producer Hanley, who has an interest in bringing fantastical architecture projects to life, the latest being the Starburst House that will be built on a 22.5 acre parcel of land near the national park.

Whitaker Studio

The desert star will neighbor another one of Hanley’s projects, the Invisible House. Designer Tomas Osinsk and Hanley created the mirrored house to look like a New York skyscraper on its side. The Invisible House, which “disappears into the landscape,” is not for sale, but is available to rent for filming, photography, events and gatherings.

The new Starburst structure is 2,000 square feet and has three bedrooms, a kitchen and living room, with an exoskeleton formed out of shipping containers.

Surrounded by rock formations, a mountain and basin views, the way the home is designed will allow for plenty of view points from inside the home, like this one:

Whitaker Studio

With minimal furnishings, white walls and concrete floors, the interior of this stark space is beautiful in its simplicity. Take a look inside:

Whitaker Studio

The listing from real estate firm Engel & Volkers Santa Monica describes the property as being “ideal for stargazing, horses and those who seek tranquility for their spiritual, meditation or yoga practices.”

“Each container is orientated to maximize views across the landscape, control light entering the house or to use the topography to provide privacy, depending on their individual use,” Whitaker says in a news release about the project.

A car garage roofed in solar panels provides power for the house. The $3.5 million price tag includes the plans, construction and delivery of the Starburst.

Already, the shipping container has its own Instagram account: @Starbursthouse. Suffice it to say, a star is born.

Curiosity, Design & Architecture, Home, News, Travel

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About the Author
Brittany Anas
Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure.

I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more.

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