I may have mentioned before that one of the most exciting things about working on our shipping container home, is all the awesome businesses we are meeting and getting to work with. We recently came into contact with an architect passionate about Container Homes. Yes, we’re past that stage of our project, but how often does that happen; that you find someone as passionate about something that you are? Of course, we had to find out more in order to share the info with you, our readers, for your own projects.
About Ayla Damon and Po.che’ Architectural Concepts
Ayla Damon, born in East London, is the brains behind her company, Po.che’ Architectural Concepts. Po.che’ Architectural Concepts is based in Cape Town, but the business works with clients from all over the country (and world!). The business name is a clever one. In the words of Ayla:
“Poche refers to the solid spaces found between the walls of our homes and businesses. As designers, we know it is not enough to focus on the massing of a building; the spaces in-between hold the key to design and comfort, that will last.”– Ayla Damon of Po.che’ Architectural Concepts
Ayla feels that the word perfectly encapsulates the importance of liveable design. I think she’s right!
Po.che’ Architectural Concepts works with clients of varying budgets, design and building needs and are standing by to breathe life into your project. Ayla’s personal focus is on alternative construction methods. Ayla and her team worked on one of the very first container home projects in the Western Cape and have gone on to do other exciting projects that range from small Airbnb units to large double storey homes.
On the Subject of Shipping Containers
Of course, when conversing with Ayla regarding this post, I had to ask her why she is so passionate about shipping container homes in particular.
- She loves seeing each client’s unique and interesting ideas on building with shipping containers
- Ayla enjoys seeing this new-to-South-Africa building method come alive right here on our doorstep
- The pride she feels on a successful project when people say, “Wow! Are those actually containers?”
- Ayla knows that container homes are not for everyone but is enjoying changing the preconceptions people have on this building method.
Of course, Ayla loves the challenge of any architectural project and welcomes projects of all types. And for those of you who know of the difficulties getting plans through Cape Town’s council… she can help you with that too.
Container Home Inside Secrets
Does Ayla have any inside secrets to share with us? Of course she does!
Not Just Copy and Paste
Many people think that the container homes just become a process of copy and pasting designs, but this is definitely not true. Most inspiration for projects comes from the client’s needs first and foremost. From there, it is just putting their ideas to paper while applying good design techniques, sustainable design ideas along with passive design to make sure that they get an aesthetically pleasing home that is livable and suitable to their needs.
Each project and client is unique. For example, some clients love to expose the rawness of the containers and enjoy pairing this look with additional raw materials. Other clients prefer to expose only bits of the container very graciously, giving a slight nod to this building technique.
There is a huge awareness in sustainable designs and the majority of Ayla’s clients and projects focus on being as off-the-grid as possible. On our own shipping container house project, this is something we wish to achieve too should our budget allow it. Unfortunately, in South Africa this can still be a costly pursuit, so most clients must do this in phases and add things later on when more capital comes in. Because container homes can be cheaper, this allows budget to be spent on other aspects of the build such as the off-grid features.
However, it is wise to note that the biggest misconception out there is that containers are EXTREMELY cheap. They are not cheap, although they are definitely a more cost effective option compared to brick and mortar structures. Ultimately the reason why people want to build with containers is usually one or more of the following:
- Shorter construction time
- Ease of assembly
- People want something unique and never done before
Ayla advises her clients to do their research and know their end goal so that they can relay this idea to their designer.
Much More Fun!
Lastly; really have fun with the build! Building is so stressful but containers make it easier to have fun from the design stage all the way to choosing fixtures and paint colours. There are always going to be some hiccups along the way and once you ride them out, it will all be worth it. Make sure you have a reliable team with you who are just as passionate about your projects as you are.
Some excellent advice there, Ayla!
This Architect, Passionate About Container Homes, Also Offers Other Services
If you are interested in contacting Po.che’ Architectural Concepts for your own projects, they can help you with the following services:
- Architectural designs to council submissions
- Principal architect role and consulting
- 3D interior and exterior renders (Realistic renders at higher cost)
- 3D animation movies
Po.che’ Architectural Concepts have assisted clients with drawings all over Africa, within South Africa, as well as in Australia and the Seychelles.
You can find Po.che’ Archtectural Concepts’ website here.
This post was sponsored by Po.che’ Architectural Concepts.