In this case, the sum is more than the parts – and the building footprint tells only half of the story. Push a button and things begin to unfold, revealing not just a deck but a lofted sleeping area and other pop-out amenities all hiding in the shell of a conventional cargo shipping container.

While it has evolved through various concepts and prototypes, the primary features of the Port-a-Bach cargo container home include “a fully enclosed exterior steel shell (when folded up), appointed with large internal storage cupboards and shelves / stainless steel kitchen and fittings / bathroom with open shower, sink, composting toilet. Fabric screen system gives the versatility of creating rooms within the large open living space: includes bunk beds, double bed room, dressing room, kitchen and bathroom.”

Outside, an “exterior canvas screen system allows to shelter the deck area for comfortable indoor/outdoor flow and living. 6 concrete footings form a stable, non-invasive ‘foundation’, allowing you to situate the unit on a wide range of ground conditions.”

Its mobility and significant flexibility of use are perhaps its key selling points, as well as its durability: close it down and lock it up when not in use and it can withstand the elements, as cargo containers were made to do.

“Atelier workshop believe up-cycling containers can be an effective answer for large scale projects and if portability, site access, robustness, security are issues. The Port-a-Bach prototype was built in Hangzhou, China and shipped to New Zealand. It is now part of the permanent collection of Puke Ariki Museum, New Plymouth. We have also developed prototypes of fittings that use the existing container connections to attached solar and wind equipment. Atelierworkshop’s Port-a-Bach is not in production but we do accept commissions to design customized container building solutions .”

– portable,
– secure,
– high-level finish,
– designed to be environmentaly clean
– comparatively inexpensive,
– comfortably sleeps two adults and two children. “

Read more on the Bonnifait + Geisen website.