According to the Wall Street Journal, there is enough space in rentable self-storage lockers in the U.S. for each man, woman and child to stand on a spot 2 Â½ feet by 2 Â½ feet, with room left over. The U.S. has 1.875 billion square feet of self-storage space. While 40 percent of the total self-storage space is rented by businesses, one in every 11 American households now has a self-storage unit. Thatâ€™s up from one in 17 in 1995. A third of the units are rented by people with incomes under $30,000 a year. The self-storage industryâ€™s revenue is $15 billion. Self-storage facilities increasingly are high-rises, many with elevators and climate control. And, abandoned big-box retail stores are being converted into storage facilities.
There is a growing movement of innovators active in transforming the common shipping cargo containers into dwellings, studios, shops, and live/work spaces. A design/archetecture collective has sprung up in Seattle, made up of architects Robert Humble and Joel Egan. www.Cargotecture.com
Although, in raw form, containers are dark windowless boxes (which might place them at odds with some of the tenets of modernist design…) they can be highly customizable modular elements of a larger structure. www.FabPreFab.com