Shipping containers are not just metal boxes, they are part of a transportation system. Without the trailers, cranes and ships designed to handle them quickly and cheaply, they would be just packing cases. That's why I have never been much of a fan of most shipping container architecture, where they are thought as just metal boxes, and why I love projects like the Snoozebox Portable Hotel, which demonstrates how this incredible transportation infrastructure can be put to work.
The Snoozebox Hotel can be set up anywhere in the world in as little as 48 hours, and the entire hotel can be rented for as few as three days. So if there is a special event that draws a lot of people for a short time, (like the Olympics right now or the Edinburgh Festival in a few weeks) the hotel can be set up and removed quickly. Instead of having a lot of overcapacity built permanently, it can be rented short term.
The rooms are not huge, getting four suites into a 40' container, and they are really designed for sleeping, not swanning around at a resort, with bunk beds built in. At the Olympics they are being used for security personnel. Occupants are often race crews, moving around Europe.
Snoozebox is totally self-contained and does not require mains services or flat terrain to be fully operational at almost any event or location around the world. With the benefit of being stackable, the accommodation takes up considerably less space than traditional ‘cabins’ or large motorhomes, plus the the simple, rapid build-up ensures minimal time and disruption on-site.
The look of the building is utilitarian, but as we learned from China, the shipping container look is so trendy that people are even faking it. The point here is to get as many rooms in a box as you can and to use the technology to move fast. Snoozebox does that brilliantly. More at Snoozebox, found on Core77