This Shipping Container in Pune Becomes the Owners Debut Home in the Mountains

Indigenous techniques and innovation have been the captain, sailing the sustainable cruise. This home too, quite literally rides the eco-conscious design wave employing retained materials.

This Shipping Container in Pune Becomes the Owners Debut Home in the Mountains

With climate crisis razing the world, an ostensible obsession with sustainability is rightly taking over, conferring with this burning theme, while paradoxically cooling it off with tales of travels underwater ‘Blue House’ transpires as a tranquil truce. With an illicit alliance between culled pieces and tchotchkes, Studio Alternatives casts a loaf upon the water, protracting their firm’s beliefs and ideologies. Subsequently, a neatly, packaged cargo is couriered, to the slanting and dry deciduous foothills in Pune.

“I feel that everything that humankind has ever created is for one-time use and that is really wrong in many ways,” Sonali of Studio Alternatives regretfully condemns while narrating the concept for Blue House.
A container painted blue transpires to become the first home for its curator and her husband. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.



Pune, Maharashtra

Plot Area

76,000 sq. ft.

Built-up Area

800 sq. ft.

Number of Rooms


Completion Year


Vaastu Compliance



“We always wanted to live away from the city; the hustle bustle of the city, in a very quiet space,” explains Dhara referring to the rural settings that underscore the shiny physique of the abode. Studio Alternatives, in a crack to garner a cult, traced the lineage of freight containers that initially voyaged the waters of India in 1973. “Every object or material has a history and when it is discarded... part of the information is there on the top of the object,” justifies Dhara.

This project is spearheaded by Sonali and Dhara of Studio Alternatives in a conscious effort to discard the concept of one-time use. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.

Drifting on the muddy waters of a picturesque village on the outskirts of Pune one reaches the anchorage that seizes a shipping container, on the impeachments of stinting an entire abode. On the hike for an x-ray of the bizarre scene, an edifice greets the visitor posing as a custodian of sustainability while parlaying as Studio Alternative’s home ground. This warm welcome with crisp breezes, gradually strips away the fast-paced city life, coercing one to slowly walk toward attaining tranquility. A rather glistening, barbed, teal structure hides in plain sight behind the boughs of parched, haughty teakwood trees. “Instead of completely hiding and covering we can celebrate those things and make it part of the design,” says Dhara about the austere blue structural opus.

The long-drawn-out walkway towards the home strips the fast pace of the city, and introduces one to the other sustainable characters. Visit Buildofy for the video of the complete project walkthrough.


“We were already looking at container spaces when it was time to decide for our own home, containers were the obvious choice for us” Dhara clues us in, about her gleaming tot that coyly smiles from behind its master’s shoulder. A mirage of a petite slice of heaven forms in the dry settings, baring a teal container that shade matches the sea while saluting the designer’s husband’s service in the Indian Navy, “That’s why we decided to color the house blue and the name came from it,” Dhara rationalizes about the moniker ‘Blue House’.

Keeping with the eco-conscious practice of the firm, the designer chooses containers as their advocate. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.

Consequently, an oleaginous teal assembly appears to float on the hills; like oil on water, without pressuring the land around. This sublimely condescending structure accepts aid from its closest ally- isolated stereobates at instances where it has to confront the soil. Further, a ligature of treads takes shape from, “... old container sheets for stairs, in some cases we have used Kadappa stone and in a couple of spaces we also have sleeper wood,” explains Sonali about the stairway to heaven. Ascending the staircase with an eye on the prize, a soliloquy from the milieu adjacent cajoles one with fiery dreams of a crepuscular bonfire and marshmallow sessions. A sonorous sound coming from the entrance door influences one’s gaze, coercing them to pick up where they left off.

Steps fabricated with wood, stone, and old containers form the foreground of the abode. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.


Teal sculpted adversaries were nut-bolted together forcing them to sustain each other, “this is originally L-format two containers joined... third container storage added (at the rear). Block of 16’x 16’ was placed here (above the assembly below, on a single column),” substantiates Dhara. Later on, stepping foot on a dissonant, scarred wooden flooring, one finally reaches the hidden netherworld abode corralled amidst the cool vestiges of a container. A subtly sprawling living area, silver lines the concept further with a three-seater sofa and a set of pale wooden armchairs that face off with a wooden console. This console sits flanking the main door for greeting the keys and other handy materials that need respite from the scorching heat. “This first square... consists of a 120' feet container which has a living as well as part of the kitchen,” elucidates Dhara. Stretching its limbs, the living room further reclines into an openable deck that is sheltered with a Mangalore tiled sloping roof, picked from the garden of demolition nearby. This evanescent space accommodates a wooden bed that looks at the cozy evergreen simulation, created by the lush planters in a corner. Adjacent, a wooden shelf entertains ghoulish visitors from the past via heirlooms and snaps. Further, a cement sheet and Mangalore tiles with a filling of packaging thermocol supervise these indolent moments. On instances when the container has to move out, swathing this deck on hinges; comes on the top of the bill of lading. Beyond this assemblage, a counter lurks on the outskirts of the living area, whispering stories of its presence while tucking away part of it, for safekeeping from the visitors.

The living room forms the first 20’x 8’ shipping container that also include part of the kitchen and an openable deck.Visit Buildofy for the video of the complete project walkthrough.

A narrow gully escorts one to a magnanimous space glimmering with freckles of light, where one is spoiled with afternoon naps in the warm, cozy arms of wooden accents. “One container is dedicated to a bedroom and a bath space,” Dhara further hints us. In the narrow alleyway, at a confluence, a wash basin and attached bathroom allow quick exclusive access without any frisking. “This is the most happening passage for us that has a complete memory of all the years that Rajiv (Dhara’s husband) has served in the Indian Navy,” Dhara adds. Facing off the shelves decorated with nautical trophies, a map of the world sits against a chipboard offering its services for insulation. This map with earthy accents maneuvers an ambiguous plan for future travels while bearing witness to the planning committee’s ongoings.

The bedroom forms the second 20’x 8’ container placed in a way to form an L-shape. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.

A safe harbor transpires as one hikes the flight of treads that are neatly wrapped in the additional container rear way, shipping for the main characters to congregate. An expatriate in the form of a sybaritic bedroom accepts support from the old container door that governs it. “Here also we’ve used a lot of material that is reclaimed including the door, (and) windows. Even the bed which is made with the pieces of an old bed which was my grandmother’s bed” Dhara confides. This token of love for her husband symbolizes connubial bliss, with nature bearing witness to the steadfast conjugal vows. The bedroom is balanced on a teeter-totter, between a single column and the containers below transpiring a balcony that reaches out to the valley below emulating a scene from Shakespeare’s masterpiece. With Corten Steel as the central character accompanied by the segueing attitude of side characters- wood, chipboard, and Mangalore tiles an ideal fairytale conspires to touch the soul.

An additional fabricated container above the assembly is a retirement gift from the designer to her husband. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.

“Our home was moved four times before it landed to the final destination point... same way after, like it can go somewhere else,” concludes Dhara looking at her blue babe. The designers of this blue-veined chef-d'oeuvre, make a conscious choice to declutter not just spaces with extra storage, but the earth too by employing derelict scrapes. Blue House with its glossy body tussles between murky and treacherous terrain to come out blaring with echoes of sustainability. “We are always seeking peace in some form but peace can be the present... little bits add up and it makes your life peaceful and quiet,” recites Sonali.

While there, don’t miss out on the other impressive contemporary homes in Maharashtra and across India. Visit Buildofy for the video of the complete project walkthrough.