An Australian Firm Makes Portable Hotel Rooms Out of Shipping Containers

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By Gabrielle Golenda / Published by Dwell
These 20-foot shipping containers are repurposed into stunning luxurious hotel rooms.

Australian-based firm Contained specializes in transforming vessels that originally hauled heavy cargo all over the world into well-designed lodgings. The portable structures have the unique ability to travel almost anywhere. Each 20-foot container easily opens up, flips out, and unfolds into an individual hotel room that opens up to the surrounding landscape, wherever that may be.

Cover photo by Daniel John Bilsborough

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As the story goes, Contained directors Anatoly Mezhov and Irene Polo envisioned these as ephemeral accommodations placed where there were no previous options. Born out of their love of traveling, the idea was to create a portable hotel room for short stays that can be set up anywhere. 

"There are so many beautiful places to go visit. That’s how this idea was born. Let’s create a portable hotel room that’s beautiful, sustainable, and comfortable for short-term accommodation and activate some of these spaces," Mezhov says.

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Each unit contains a pop-out section that houses a queen-sized bed, a middle sitting room outfitted with a sink and bar area, and a bathroom with a toilet and a surprisingly large shower. Outside, a fold-out awning covers a raised deck area. Meanwhile, bi-fold doors open the indoors to the surrounding outdoor environment.

The firm has recently developed an environmentally-conscious hotel room, luxurious lounging areas, offices, and tiny homes throughout Australia. To date, they have designed amazing escapes in various locations including a winery in Victoria, a secret location on an island in the Sydney Harbor, and a wilderness retreat in Queensland. 

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"There are people who have landholdings, islands, golf courses,  old warehouses, and rooftop car parks. You just never know, you can put them anywhere." -Anatoly Mezhov

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