I was curious about how the light would fall, and what a shipping-container style pop-up might look like on a house that we are likely going to own. I whipped up a model of the site plan in SketchUp, and while very rough (and based only on the known width and some photos) it does go to show how the light might fall in early January:
Then, I got a little creative, mocking out various shapes that that could take to fill in the top of the row house. I thought it would be cool to use two of the walls of two different sized shipping containers to define most of the space, then fill in with larger walls and railings:
Even with plenty of skylight openings, there was not the best light infiltration during the winter months. And while moving both containers to the north side of the house would make more sense, then we would basically be looking right into the neighbors yard/balcony.
This could be neighborly, but isn't as much of a little "garden nook" overlooking the alley, which makes the space feel bigger than butting up against the other house. You can access the upper room by an outside spiral staircase, and possibly some of the upper room could be closed off.
It's going to be an interesting challenge to wash all the areas with natural sunlight that I'd want to. Hopefully, some interesting mirrors will help the cause.
We'll see how it goes!