Hydraulic doors transform containers in retrotronic shelters

Comparing their work reanimating a corpse, Matthew Quilty and Adam Kalkin believe in giving 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 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 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.”

Industrial Zombie: https://www.inzombie.com


  1. i love you videos, but in this case i dont seee whats diference this people do to the containers that other dont do. And dont say the hidraulic door because theres a lot of equipment hidraulic much better that noisy equipment. Thanks for share!!!

  2. Those shipping containers could solve the “homeless” problem on the planet. I would love to see container communities for homeless folks where they would be directly involved in the building of their own home. The footprint is so incredibly small which means you can easily use recycled buildingg products for most, if not all, of it. Then create a community garden where everone pitches in and grows their own food that everyone can partake in. Utopia.

  3. wtf is this guy talking about when he says the architecture world doesn’t like shipping containers. the architecture world liked them so much it became trendy and now it’s just gross and overused. is this guy retarded?

  4. I like this idea, what I’ve been thinking of using when I build my t.h., but I want the hydraulics to lift up the roof when the t.h isn’t mobile, & down again for traveling. I wonder how much something like that would cost? I’d also prefer a metal frame for my t.h., to reduce the weight, as well.

  5. im like 10 seconds into the video and i want to reach through my screen and bitch slap the dude patting rusting metal and talking about character

  6. This was really eye opening. Thank you for making this video, didn’t realise what a big problem the containers were. I always thought they used them heavily for half a decade rather than having them sitting there.

  7. Wonderfully done video. The transformations can be astonishing. I admit I lol’d when the toilet flew down from that illy container. Not sure how practical that idea is.

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