Cantilevered containers become popup housing for NYC creators

New York City rents are unattainable for most artists, but at one marina in Queens, provide instant access to livework spaces. Eight intermodal containers stacked two high serve as work spaces for artists making surfboards, blowing glass and crafting jewelry. The containers are cantilevered to provide patio space for the upstairs units.

Jewelry-maker/photographer Katherine Coates uses most of of containers to create jewelry (often using glass remnants from the glassworker upstairs), postcards and art from found (stored along the walls).

Even without running water, Coates created a kitchen relying on a Berkey water filter, drinking water collected from a Long Island , plus a toaster , hot plates and mini fridge. There is a community bathroom in a separate container. Behind the containers Coates has turned most available space into gardens. She also forages for local foods. ; Instagram @katherinecotes

On *faircompanies:


  1. We stumbled upon this story last summer and Katherine was very gracious to open her place to us. This is not an overly-finished project, but something kept simple in order to remain affordable. And it really seems to work for the people here. I was amazed at how in touch with nature/plants/water Katherine has remained even in New York City.

    • You are an idiot look at the building constraint’s.. This would never happen in NYC Look at the building codes before you speak nonsense

    • I implore you to take this video, please. the risk of discovery by the owner of the property or the authorities is not worth the entertainment value nor the inspiration when compared to the possibility of eviction by Katherine and the other tenants of this space. kirsten, you did an insuffcient job at keeping this location hidden and may i remind you people lived in spaces not zoned residentially have little to NO TENANTS RIGHTS

    • @Sean R. I agree with everything you said. Promoting people who live in places with no utilities (and uninsulated) is not a good idea. Giving hope to others to do the same is also very bad. There are much better options/solutions for people to get into proper living spaces; some solutions are even less expensive too. As an architect and developer, I have designed people out of these kind of situations. Many times, just changing location completely changes the situation. (Selling jewelry online provides freedom of location.)

  2. After seeing this I’m glad to be in third-world Texas. My ancestors left NYC in the 18th C. Brave lady but no thanks!

  3. $800 sounded like a deal until you see there’s no running water, no real kitchen, heat, or bathroom… no thanks.

  4. I hate when they don’t explain everything like where she poops and pees. Everyone’s gotta do it so… Does she just add it to the free manure in the cooler in the back??!

  5. Metal box with no insulation in a NYC winter, 800$ a month… Soooooooooo cheap… And a friend of mine doesn’t understand why I refused is invitation to go live in New York….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.