Everybody loves the idea of shipping container housing, taking the cheap and ubiquitous boxes and piling them up like Legos. Years ago, when people started playing with the idea of them as buildings, when we were all in love with Archigram and walking cities, it was all about the mobility, about the fact that they were so easy to pick up and move by truck, train or ship. And you would never ship them empty, that's a complete waste, transporting a box of air.
The G-pod is like a throwback to those days. Architect Dan Sparks has designed this flexible shipping container unit with pop-out sides so that it it travels full of stuff (bathrooms and bedrooms) that slide out to make more room inside. The exterior wall folds down to be a deck and open the interior up to natural light.
According to the brochure,
Humanity’s requirement for GREEN, or environmentally sustainable building solutions, is obvious and urgent. G-pod meets this need through its autonomous building system. Its ’shell’ is an up-cycled shipping container, its interior consists of recycled, sustainable and organic materials and finishes. These attributes, coupled with its super efficient and highly flexible planning, use options and ability to be easily relocated, resulting in a minimal ‘footprint’ – both physically and environmentally.
I believe that upcycling a used container is just silly in this case. They are chopping both sides off the box and adding doors to the other end. The floors have to be replaced and the roof reinforced since it is the corrugated walls that actually support it. There is almost nothing left of the original box here. I suspect it will cost more to "upcycle" an old box than it would to build it from scratch, like MEKA or Nova Deko does.
The important point is the "ease of transport through air and across land and water with simple set-up and dismantling (3 hours to ‘unpack’ and 3 hours to ‘pack up’) – this means lower costs associated with mobilization and de-mobilization!". It costs the same to transport a full box as it does an empty one, so if you are going to do a couple of moves then it makes sense to build it this way, with the works in a drawer. Because containers want to move, that's the whole point of them. More at G-Pod