Hydraulic doors transform containers in retrotronic shelters

Comparing their work to reanimating a corpse, Matthew Quilty and Adam Kalkin believe in giving new life to unused shipping containers. They have turned these industrial corpses into homes, mobile kitchens/cafes, and event spaces.

“In the United States today there are about a half a billion containers just sitting there, about 70% of those are in light or no use,” explains Quilty from the Central New Jersey warehouse where Industrial Zombie’s transformations take place. “It makes so much more sense to recycle something that has been made for another purpose and upcycle it for another purpose rather than starting from scratch.”

By adding elements like glass garage doors or actuators, but preserving most of the structure, they try to transform what to many are “unsightly, inexpensive” objects into art and architecture. There’s the 12-container vacation home in Maine, the five-container $150,000 Quik House and the one-container Push-Button House that unfolds in seconds from closed container to modern pop-up home art piece.

“People don’t really understand how to use containers. They look at containers and they think of them as unsightly, inexpensive,” explains Quilty. “What we’re trying to make a ding in the architecture world, we’re trying to softly make a statement that there’s a different way to do things.”

Video of Adam Kalkin’s Farmhouse in a Hangar:

Industrial Zombie:

Original story:

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  1. Anita Loneragan
    June 1, 2017

    Great info on turning shipping containers into homes! Lots of questions answered. Thanks!

  2. Jim Dean
    June 10, 2017

    Really… actuators to open doors? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a cheap home out of cheap material. This is a joke.

  3. Sun Tzu
    June 11, 2017

    Very very cool!

  4. Peter Krivena
    June 12, 2017

    4.20 like this one, cool.

  5. Law19157
    June 14, 2017

    The 1st shipping containers were invented & patented by an American Malcolm Mc Lean in 1956, the Chinese were communists they didn't invent shit. Americans were manufacturing power houses then and exported to the world while the Chinese were experiencing poverty and utter failure of their communist economic model, those idiots figured out the communist economic model didn't work and eventually switched over to Capitalism. The Chinese steal other peoples work they don't invent anything themselves.

  6. Tepco Cycle Repair
    June 15, 2017

    It's a "new" container, only used once. Sounds like a used car salesman.

  7. John Alexander
    June 15, 2017

    better not be under there if there is a hose failure

  8. Alecks1990
    June 17, 2017

    yes it is really cool and the wow effect is definitely there, but it doesnt look practical or even more cost effective than other ways to build …

  9. Steven Kritzler
    June 18, 2017

    Close the side dear, the mosquitos are feasting on me! Faster faster!

  10. Dan Kirchner
    June 19, 2017

    key to this whole shipping container "home" -"dwelling" -"?" is to remove as much of the container as possible ,therefore producing something beautiful ,unlike a rusty metal shipping container[that's probably contaminated with countless carcinogens ]

  11. hamilton harper
    June 20, 2017

    Folding the shitter above the living room, what's the worst that could happen?

  12. Driven home
    June 23, 2017

    The doors are on original hinges, kinda like,,,,,, push them open…. mmmm

  13. brimann2012
    June 26, 2017

    None of this applies to common people needing adequate , inexpensive housing.

  14. Xander Zoolander
    June 30, 2017

    I wanna see more of those buildings that're 3 containers wide and 2 high. Are they just using the frames without the walls? Are they still structurally stable like that?

  15. Timothy Mitchell
    July 22, 2017

    USA, WW2: CBs used containers to ship machine shops, tool sheds, repair shops, etc. So, I think they were not exactly "made in China" after all. However, I have no idea where the idea come from before 1942.

  16. George Marx
    August 3, 2017

    Nice shirt!

  17. Nukes Away
    August 4, 2017

    This guy has no clue about containers. Not invented by Chinese, the wood is dangerous from the factory. He just makes shit up and most of his inventions are death traps.

  18. afringedweller
    August 6, 2017

    These things are being shown as some kind of artsy-artsy projects, the containers being inside warehouses.  But metal needs insulation from both heat and cold.  That's a whole 'nother ball o' wax.

  19. SpookiGreyman
    August 9, 2017

    Guy's wearing a Fallout 4 shirt lol

  20. Mr Andreis
    August 28, 2017

    I would like too soon make. Beautiful piece of art like 4 be, 3 bath but at what cost ? I can only dream cause here in California buying a home is so freaking expensive., So where or who and how should I start ., I mean I don't want to pay a mortgage with building and remodeling a container I can barely afford to live by.. how can I find out ., I saw this small piece of land that sells for 230,000 dollars in my neighborhood which I pay rent and I'm sick of., So how do I get this done if I not a DIY'er ., Look what's happening in Texas I can't move there., But then again what if an earthquake hits beautiful California how safe are those containers now, cause I do not plan to die crushed anytime now., We got too see the long term wise and short term and also the pros and cons, but I enjoy the idea the way these are being created., So educate us or inform us of this other little questions. Thanks

  21. Mr Andreis
    August 28, 2017

    So question what's the difference in manufactured homes and a manufactured container?, Which saves me more money and which is more safer or "greener" environmentally friendly? I'm curious and want to know., Which is best cause building a home is like 300+ plus here in California and the extras**

  22. dlwatib
    August 29, 2017

    Containers, unsurprisingly, make horrible living structures. They weren't designed as shelters. They have no insulation, heating or cooling. They have no foundation or roof. They have no windows. The doors they do have are inappropriate for a living space. They have no lighting, electricity or plumbing. They're the wrong width for bedrooms and living rooms. They are awkwardly long and heavy. The walls are ugly and you can't hang pictures on them or do any of the other things you routinely do with interior or exterior walls.

    After you've poured a slab foundation, hired a crane to place your container on the slab and bolted it down, added a wood stud frame so you can insulate it and subdivide it, put insulation on all six sides and a roof on top, sheathed the insulation with a finished wall, put conventional windows and doors in it, wired it and plumbed it, installed a furnace and A/C, you haven't saved any money and what have you got? A shitty living space that's as narrow as a single-wide trailer only not quite so charming.

  23. Saffyj2012
    September 27, 2017

    This guy likes the sound of his own voice. Its like he thinks he discovered containers….. weve been using them in Australia for over 30 years or more what dope

  24. Saffyj2012
    September 27, 2017

    Sorry Kirsten huge fail on this one hes an idiot

  25. Salvador Alvarado
    October 3, 2017

    The first truly successful container shipping company dates to April 26, 1956, when American trucking entrepreneur McLean put 58 trailer vans later called containers, aboard a refitted tanker ship, the SS Ideal X, and sailed them from Newark, New Jersey to Houston, Texas.

  26. José Pinto
    October 14, 2017

    Briliant idea.

  27. Gary Senecal
    October 19, 2017

    So this is what it comes to as a poor man …oooh wow my first house a shipping container …fuck you . asshole

  28. Raymond Muli
    November 6, 2017

    What model and size of the main door actuators?

  29. Rylan Dodge
    November 21, 2017

    you should make one in to a car

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