Illy shipping container house unfolding

The awesome transforming Push Button House has gone through many design iterations, each impressive and fascinating in its own way. The first example featured here is more an interior room-in-the-box type design – portable, practical but primarily fun and versatile. It would make a great coffee stand or temporary outdoor shop space or even temporary on-the-go mobile home. Can you imagine rolling up to an RV park to go “glamping” in something like this? The jaws of passersby would be in the grass.

illy shipping container house open

The more complex version of this cargo container building, shown below, comes complete with a kitchen, dining area, bedroom, living room and library – all constructed from recycled materials (including, of course, the shipping container shell of the structure itself).

The container house version has a hydraulic, computer-controlled system that automates the opening and closing process. It is designed as a potential exhibition space, disaster relief home or even potential permanent residence.This model likewise opens and closes at the push of a button – just don’t be trapped on the inside when it gets shut!

Illy push button house gif

Illy push button house interior

Designed by Adam Kalkin, the original version of the Push Button House is just that — a house. Aiming to illustrate the creative ways in which industrial materials can be reclaimed for use as building materials, this transforming shipping container house made its debut at Art Basel Miami in 2005. The design manages to pack a bedroom, bathroom, bookshelves, lamps, rugs, a kitchenette, a dining table and a living area into a single shipping container — no small feat.

Kalkin is known for all sorts of creative shipping container architecture, including life-sized dollhouses, houses within houses that function almost like Russian dolls and cool modern shipping container residences stored within warehouses. It just goes to show how much potential overlooked materials can have when you look at them a little differently, and the hydraulic unfolding action makes these versions extra fun.