While living in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012, I was researching shipping container homes. As I was learning about their viability and structure, the possibility of constructing and living in one began to take hold of my imagination. But I wanted something more durable, modular and moveable than the container homes I saw there. And I was hoping to build something to accommodate my friend with cerebral palsy who needed a specialized space for his motorized scooter.
In 2010, I was building The Bird House [http://thebirdhouse.org/] and in my travels I heard about a home in Caledon, Ontario. My friend and I were invited to visit and see it. We found it partially buried into a hill overlooking a pond. The house had a full wall of glass on the front to make the most of the view of the pond down below.
PHOTO: house in Caledon
A spiral staircase inside connected the main and top floors of this humble and lovely house. I was struck by its simple beauty. And I was inspired. Motivated by my experience of successfully constructing The Bird House, and with creative time on my hands, I began drawing and imagining. I produced sketch after sketch.
PHOTO: the Foxden sketches In these doodled imaginings I explored where to put elements of a home and why. Slowly, it emerged: the spectacular design of the *Foxden*.
PHOTO: the finished Foxden
This design is in so many ways a gift from my mother. She taught me much. She showed me to love and listen. To be open, take direction, and have a sense of wonder. Her teachings allowed me to open myself up to the advice and expertise of contractors, architects, designers, engineers, city officials and project managers, and to work with them on the design and approval process. And then to assemble a group of do-gooders: artists and executives, mothers and daughters, realtors and restaurateurs, mechanics and musicians, all willing to help to construct this spectacular home. Together, we did it.
The Foxden is a wondrous container home because it draws from so many people’s experiences, shaped by their collaboration and resilience. The Foxden is based on a new container home design that I feel honoured to have brought into the world. One that has never been seen before. It took a lot of people to parent it and to encourage it, and to love it into realization.
We know that it takes a village to raise a child. Together we raised a home with an elegant design, natural ergonomics and soul. And I am grateful.
PHOTO: Foxden team of collaborators