Inspired homes in the West

A recycled jumbo jet, Airstream trailer, modern houseboat, and more innovative design

The Cargotecture movement

Upcycled shipping containers are the new trend in prefab architecture. Take a peek at 8 of the West's most innovative applications

Architectural innovation
Photo by Jack Parsons Photography

Architectural innovation

Architect Paul Rudolph once called the mobile home the 20th century brick; the shipping container may well be taking its place in the twenty-first. Like heavy Legos, shipping containers made of steel or aluminum can be used as an inexpensive, and stronger than average, building block. Resistant to such forces as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, containers are naturally suited to such humanitarian projects as post-disaster housing and community centers but their versatility has also captured the imagination of designers and architects worldwide who’ve used them for everything from highrises to rustic cabins. In fact, there are enough cool container structures around to constitute a movement: some call it Cargotecture.

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