Ever step outside, see how hot (or cold) it is, and wish you were still indoors? Well, the front entry to the inner of these housing structures does just that – it opens up to a larger warehouse-like, glass-and-metal structure structure, rather than right into into the wider world. Across the way? No neighbors, per se. Instead: a series of nine shipping containers form a stark contrast to the traditional white siding, brown shingles and standard-sized windows of the core house.

House within a house

nesting houses

The result is reminiscent of a life sized dollhouse, complete with rooms that open to the viewer, whether said viewer is standing outside looking in through the glass facade or within the atrium-style living room beyond these nine volumes. This particular project appears to be a single-family home, given the lack of privacy.

Adam Kalkin hoe shaped hole in shipping container house

But architect Adam Kalkin did not stop there – he also sliced a home-shaped hole in the metal siding of the surrounding prefab, creating an abstract symbol of what one can expect to find inside (complete with a exterior chimney tower for function and effect).

Adam Kalkin creative shipping container house

Shipping container house lobby

Another in the same series of strange rental properties is this multi-unit set of vacation homes – a retreat within a retreat, if you will. A long metal barn lets natural light in on both ends via a fully-glazed front and back, but inside is another story. A series of individual container compartments provide privacy for residents, raised up to the second story, while main-level spaces and carved-out shipping containers serve as communal gathering, cooking and working areas.

Shipping container house

Transforming shipping container house

Kalkin’s shipping container creations are more than a little unusual, playful and fun — especially when they transform and fold up, like this wacky project. Another house-within-a-house, the shipping container volume contains a bedroom, living room and dining room that pack tightly together when closed or can be opened up for access within a larger space.