From Shipping Container to Mobile Hotel


These days it’s common to see shipping containers transformed into homes and restaurants. But not until now have we seen this. Meet LIGHTHOUSE, a fully functioning one-room mobile hotel. The 8’x20′ space is a beacon for urban ecotourism and a postcard for sustainability.

LIGHTHOUSE was designed by Geoffrey Warner, AIA, principal and owner of Minneapolis-based Alchemy Architects. It was constructed by University of Minnesota College of Design’s School of Architecture students alongside Warner and a team of design/build professionals.
2 Inside

Students from the University of Minnesota College of Design’s School of Architecture.

Built for year-round use in Minnesota, LIGHTHOUSE features a spray foam shell, triple-paned windows and doors, solar powered HVAC, all LED lighting and hydronic inflow heat. It also includes a 250-gallon water tank, on-demand water heater and bio-filter liquid waste storage that functions a shower and toilet. An online public digital dashboard maps water, power and waste usage, guest experiences and the LIGHTHOUSE’s itinerary.


The entryway featuring Room & Board’s Shelter magazine stand.

Room & Board furnished the small space with modern accents, including our Etna Convertible Sleeper Sofa, Ike TablesLuster Mixed Pendants, Shelter Magazine Standaccent pillows and bedding.


The bed featuring Room & Board bedding and pillows.


Room & Board’s Etna Convertible Sleeper Sofa, Ike tables, Hennepin Made Luster Pendants and accent pillows.


A peek into the modern bathroom.


LIGHTHOUSE at Northern Spark, the annual dusk-to-dawn arts festival.

Lighthouse made its premiere at Mia’s “Third Thursday: Art of Sustainability” event on May 19. Since then, it’s been on display at Northern Spark, an annual dusk-to-dawn arts festival, and will continue to move throughout the Twin Cities.

Photos from Alchemy Architects

2 Responses to “From Shipping Container to Mobile Hotel”

  1. Rex Boyce

    I love this. Great job. I wonder how much it cost to make.


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