A House Made from a Shipping Container

Do you ever wonder what happens to all those corrugated metal shipping boxes? Is there some graveyard where obsolete cargo containers go to be piled into a rusty, sad mountain of metal?

Well, look at this pin Michelle, editor of Gardenista, came across: A New Zealand architecture firm called Atelierworkshop has transformed a shipping container into a holiday house—a “bach” is what they call a vacation cabin in New Zealand, by the way, short for “bachelor pad”—and it has a foldout terrace, clever bunk beds, and a tiny kitchenette.

Photographs via Atelierworkshop.

Above: This particular holiday house is a “port-a-bach” because it doesn’t have a permanent foundation. It folds open, Barbie-Dream-House style, to reveal a patio (with a retractable awning and wind screens).

Above: Murphy-bed style bunks fold out for open-air sleeping.

Above: Louvered doors aid ventilation.

Michelle used to think shipping container cabins sounded like a crazy idea, but now she’s a convert. For another of her favorite shipping container campsites, see Little Cargo Container in the Big Woods.

What do you think? Would you vacation (or live full-time) in this house?


Kay M.
.4 years ago

loved the article, great information, and good comments from the care 2 members.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you Gardenista, for Sharing this!

Joy S.
Joy s4 years ago

Would make a really neat lakeside retreat.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

cool, thanks for posting

Lindi Smith
.4 years ago

This is way too cool given the numbers of these containers that are out of commission and rotting on the landscape. I wonder how they are plumbed? Is there a hold tank for water and septic ? I could not find this info in the article although I s'pose it wouldn't take a genius to figure it out ! I would certainly live in one or two of these units for a long time! peace LLS

Freddy Jones
Freddy Jones4 years ago

nice for fine weather and the daytime, but for me won't use it for the night time... But really nice and creative

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago


Maria K.
Maria Kraeva4 years ago

Amazing .. !

Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago

Think I'll pass . . . .

Sonali Ghosh
Sonali G4 years ago

Wow! I want one