When future generations look back on the architecture of the early 21st century, will our time be thought of as the shipping container’s moment? The freight units have become the humble, environmentally friendly building blocks of everything from computer labs to clinics to prefab homes to emergency housing to a food truck to office conference rooms.
Now, a mobile, pop-up hotel concept in Belgium is incorporating shipping containers into a luxurious hospitality experience. Sleeping Around is a "hotel" composed of 20-foot-long recycled shipping containers. Some containers are bedrooms, complete with high-end bedding, a rain shower, an iPod docking station, and air conditioning. Others are designed for eating meals or enjoying a sauna.
"Until recently, an excess of Chinese sea containers have been rusting away in the port of Antwerp. That’s how the owners came up with the idea: to give them a second life and convert these containers into mobile hotel rooms, using only ecologically responsible materials," explains Sleeping Around’s Cloe Daem.
The hotel has traveled just in Belgium so far, showing at a design fair before making its way to the center of Antwerp along the Scheldt River. Rooms go for around 200 Euro, and Daem reports that business is busy: "We hope to travel around the world and to pop up on several great locations! Maybe one day we will have 30 containers traveling the world and going from city to city. Some advice: Keep an eye on our website."