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Alternative Housing: Barely Containing Ourselves

Source: NYT

In our obsession with housing, an approach to design as discussed in the article Heavy Metal Jacket With a Luxe Lining [NYT] [1] comes in the form of a shipping container with walls that unfold.

His is not a new idea, but he pushes it to the extreme.

“Adam Kalkin, an architect and artist who is unveiling his Push Button House, a shipping container with motorized walls that unfold like an elaborate Murphy bed to reveal an unexpectedly muted interior with the refined furnishings one might find in a Park Avenue apartment of patrician taste, complete with a couch from George Smith and a lacquer chandelier.

“It works like a flower – you push a button and the thing transforms itself,” Mr. Kalkin said last week as he puttered in the 8,000-square-foot factory he rents in Kenvil, N.J., while welders and electricians finished up the Push Button House before loading it onto a flatbed truck for the trip to Miami. “All the finishes inside are milky and human and delicate,” he added, “all trapped inside this heavy mechanical box.”

There is a whole cottage industry for this type of housing. Here are some other designs:

Jennifer Siegal [NPR] [2]
Lot-ek [3]
Container City [4]
Treehugger Blog [5]

A tongue-in-cheek comment posted on Treehugger:

Fabulous idea but what happens when you wake up to find you and your bedroom in Singapore?

Heavy Metal Jacket With a Luxe Lining [NYT] [6]