Vijayalaxmi Jeyasingh’s shipping container-turned-office is a breath of fresh air in Panayur, just off ECR.

There is a bed of green, then there are cuddappah stones forming the perimeter of the plot, while the container-office itself is based on a non-interference and sustainability model.

Until recently, the space served as husband Jeyasingh’s office but it is now being rented out. “My husband is a nature lover and when we bought this land, it was initially to move here. But that changed and we wanted to construct something that would do the least damage to the earth. So we put up stilts and placed a shipping container on top. It is completely recyclable and needs least maintenance. The material does not rust, which is a big problem in an area like ECR,” says Vijayalaxmi.

Outside the container is a green space filled with banana, mango, sapota and coconut trees, apart from a herb garden and compost pit. “We planted fast-growing trees and at one point had a vegetable patch that served all our home needs. But we keep experimenting with this place. We stopped growing vegetables and now have a herb garden. There was a pond just ahead, which even had sharks. But we found that the kingfishers in the area kept carrying the fish away so we had it filled in,” she adds.

As for the container, they replaced the front with a grill door and removed a portion on the side and made a glass window. The removed piece was used as a cover for the window. On top are lightweight cement sheets for the roofing. Inside are two tables with lights and a couple of shelves as well. And out front is a large deck to sit out on evenings.