To the construction industry, shipping containers are simply a cheap, prefabricated building material. But when put into the hands of a creative designer, they become the coziest of homes.

Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval

shipping container home-7 shipping container-6 shipping container home-6 shippingcontainer shipping container-5 Photos: Sebastián Irarrázaval

Sebastián Irarrázaval’s prefabricated Caterpillar House was designed and built for an art collector and his family on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile. It has everything from massive mountaintop views to hot tubs and rooftop decks.

12 Container House by Adam Kalkin

12 container house 12 container house-1 12 container house-2 12 container house-3 Photos: Peter Aaron/Esto

Adam Kalkin created his 12 Container House by stacking and organizing a dozen orange shipping containers into a T-shape. Set on a rocky peninsula in Maine’s Blue Hill Bay, the expansive structure can be rented out from June to October for anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000 per week.

Push Button House by Adam Kalkin

push botton house-2 push botton house-1 push botton house Photos: Peter Aaron/Esto

Another Kalkin creation, the Push Button House is exactly what it sounds like: A house that appears with the push of a button. Motorized walls unfurl like draw bridges to reveal furniture secured to the walls/floor.

Shipping Container House by Tomecek Studio

shipping container house shipping container cabin Photos: Braden Gunem

Architecture firm Tomecek Studio says this 1,517-square-foot cabin in Nederland, Colorado was an exercise in “reducing the average American home size.” The structure is made up of mostly recycled material including two shipping containers which straddle a large common area.

Coromandel Bach by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects

shipping container beach house-1 shipping container beach house-3 shipping container beach house-2 shipping container beach house Photos: Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects

The open concept Coromandel Bach is a container home that reinterprets the New Zealand building tradition of crafting wood. As you might have guessed, it is located on the North Island’s Coromandel Peninsula.

Container Guest House by Poteet Architects

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We can’t decide which feature of this container guest house we like more — the adorable green roof or retractable window wall.

Marinka by 2B Group

shipping container home-1 shipping container home shipping container home-2 Photos: 2B Group

Marinka is a 4,000-square-foot, three-level penthouse made from concrete and shipping containers. It was designed by 2B Group and can be found in Kiev, Ukraine.

Hybrid House by ecotechdesign

Scott Perry's Joshua Tree building Scott Perry's Joshua Tree building Scott Perry's Joshua Tree building Scott Perry's Joshua Tree building Photos: ecotechdesign

The Hybrid House, also known as the Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain, is a working concept by ecotechdesign that consists of cargo containers and pre-engineered steel building components. This particular iteration of the home is located in Joshua Tree, California.

Holiday Cabana by Damith Premathilake

Holiday Cabana Holiday Cabana-1 Photos: Logan MacDaugall Pope

Holiday Cabana is a shipping container cabin in Sri Lanka’s Maduru Oya National Park. Designed by local architect Damith Premathilake, the structure is located on a lakeside army training ground surrounded by jungle and mountains.

Container City by Urban Space Management

container city container city-1 Photo: Container City

British development firm Urban Space Management specializes in converting old shipping containers into functional office and living spaces, such as the above apartment block in London, England.

Container home with retractable porch by unknown

shipping container home with porch Photo: imgur

We’re not sure who came up with the idea to use the broadside of a shipping container as a retractable porch, but it’s brilliant and should be done in all such homes.

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