A few years ago, a county parks department in Washington state sponsored a contest that sounded like something Amy Poehler would dream up on Parks and Rec: Transform a surplus cargo container into a permanent campground cabin. And make it cozy.
The winner, Seattle's HyBrid Architecture, already had a Cargotecture line of repurposed shipping containers—one of them had been installed on the Sunset Magazine campus in Northern California as the 2011 Sunset Idea House. HyBrid's award-winning cabin for Kings County's Toit-MacDonald Park campground was designed to sleep four and has a kitchenette. And it's portable, so it can be moved to different locations in the county's 26,000 acres of parkland.
Above: This Cargotecture cabin is used as a guesthouse on a rural property near Seattle. Says HyBrid's principal and co-founder Joel Egan, "These containers are fun, emotional, curious, and durable." Image via HyBrid Architecture.
Above: A former cargo container on its way to becoming a cabin: The windows have been cut, the door installed, and the exterior cleaned. Next the interior will be framed and windows installed. Image by Kings County Parks, via Flickr.
Above: HyBrid Architecture collaborated with Sunset Magazine to install the Nomade C192—a 192-square-foot container home. Image via Sunset.
Above: The doors on the Sunset Idea House open onto a deck, and let air and light flow through. Image via Sunset.
Above: The C192 has a small kitchen, a living space, and built-in beds. Joel Egan describes it as "a rough shell on the outside, comfortable space on the inside." Photograph via Sunset.
Read about how they're repurposing shipping containers in New Zealand in Outbuilding of the Week: A Shipping Container Transformed Into the Ultimate Holiday House. There's even a Shipping Container Greenhouse. And 10 more examples are in 10 Houses Made from Shipping Containers.
Updated from a post originally published August 3, 2012.