For a while Imouto House looked like a stack of shipping containers that somebody took a cutting torch to. That’s because it is exactly that; Vancouver’s first recycled shipping container based housing project has 12 units of housing for Atira Women’s Resource Society. Imouto in part provides housing for women aged 55+ living in shelters or SRO rooms. Imouto is the Japanese word for “little sister”and was chosen because the building in located in Japantown, kitty corner from the Vancouver Japanese Language School.
The first containers were lifted into position in late November 2012, and the Barry McGinn designed project took a little longer than expected to complete, but it’s now open. Each unit is 320 sq ft, with its own kitchen, bathroom and laundry, and construction is a lot cheaper than traditional methods, coming in at under $100,000 a unit.