Images Credit Aphid iODEA on the Open Architecture Network
I am late to the party on this one, already seen on Inhabitat and Gizmag, because it has taken me some time to figure out how it actually works. It's called the eCORRE, for Environmental Center of Regenerative Research & Education, designed by APHIDoIDEA, "an open_collaborative_think-tank of design professionals striving toward a more creatively built environment through architecture, interactivity, motion-graphics, video by means-and-methods ."
It was a finalist in a competition put on by the Los Angeles Chapter of the USGBC called "thinking outside the box", and the primary building material was specified to be shipping containers.
The designers are kind enough to supply an exploded structural diagram and a drawing with their design logic and approach, which somehow demonstrate how one conceptually raises and lowers the shipping containers while twisting and turning them.
They also provide a detailed planting plan of what goes on top of all these twisted containers, and some plans of what is going on inside some of them, when they are level. Inhabitat is effusive:
The Center incorporates everything that people interested in sustainable building need to know, while fostering a green community with a beautiful open plaza and outdoor amphitheater.
Which is perhaps a bit of an overstatement. But we do have is a fun entry in an ideas competition, a pile of containers used as expensive roofing tiles with a green roof on top. More on the Open Architecture Network