Illy Push Button House

When last we mentioned the Illy cafe built in a shipping container, we noted that Adam Kalkin had built other shipping container living spaces. Here's one. Called the "Push Button House," it expands completely in 90 seconds. MoCo Loco has a nice little gallery of images. Illy Push Button House []
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13 Responses to Illy Push Button House

  1. torrance says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but this is a weak idea. First, there’s the roof and walls issue. Tenting material doesn’t make it – if you’re going to do that, just use a tent. Second, the hydraulic cylinders get in the way of actual living. How many times would you smack your shins on that actuator when getting out of bed? The point of disaster relief housing is to provide shelter. How fast you can deploy is a much less important issue. If you could deploy a good, sturdy shelter in an hour, by hand, that would be much better than this thing.

  3. Bob says:

    Looks cool, but what about a roof and walls?

  4. emic says:

    You may have seen it already, but there is or was
    a bar in melbourne’s laneways made of shipping containers.

  5. adamrice says:

    Buckminster Fuller came up with something very much like this (as you might expect). He called it the Autonomous Package.

  6. yazoo says:

    This is, at best, an exercise in onanistic architecture. How long would you last living in a hovel with huge pylons welded to the floor with the attached hydraulic arms always in the way?

    So here we have a recycled tin box requiring an even bigger structure to shelter the thing in.

    You know, I just tried to find a more practical link to post here showing you the right way to deploy shipping containers, but every example I found looks as if the supplemental materials and energy expended assembling the container architect’s vision requires just as much energy and waste as a site built home.

  7. License Farm says:

    Despite its impracticalities I think it’s a great idea. Give it a few more revisions and I think they’ll figure out how to make it more viable.

  8. craig1st says:

    Holy cow, Quill, that’s impressive automation and machine work on your site.

  9. meerkat says:

    For those interested in shipping containers, the history of their creation, adoption and widespread success – I would happily recommend a book called – The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger,

    The author does a great job explaining the challenges of standardizing the shipping industry and the struggles that early visionaries went through before containerized freight took off.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hmm so what happens when it rains?

  11. joshspear says:

    This thing rules, but is oldddd, Adam’s push button house debuted at Art Basel in 2005… there was even a NY Times story about it!

  12. gnosis says:

    A company called Global Building Systems out of Atlanta built at least one school for poor folks in Jamaica several years ago:
    (crappy old website – click on the numbers in the top right corner).

    More Jamaican shipping container architecture here:

    And more a list of companies that build (mostly for the impoverished) shipping container dwellings here:

  13. Quill says:

    This machine is an art piece, rather than a functioning home.

    I did the automation of this project. By that, I mean the engineering and build of the mechanical systems to make it move. There are no hydraulics – it’s all done with electromechanical actuators (ball screws and electric motors). No oil leaks, no drifting, all clean and tidy. It’s computer controlled, with independent control of each of the four sections.

    We built the thing in four weeks, what an insane project. I’ve got some stories.

    My website has some more stuff – I do theatrical automation for the most part. The idea of ‘transformable’ architecture gets me excited- reactive environments, flexible spaces, responding to the occupants and the environment. Etc.

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