Cargotecture and Caffeine in Venice


Between their quirky cargotecture and their full-strength caffeine, Illy was the buzz of the 52nd Venice Biennale.

When Italy’s beloved coffee purveyor Illy sponsored the 2007 Biennale, they decided to wow art and coffee lovers by serving up their signature blend from a mobile Push-Button House.


Otherwise known as a Quik House, the crafty shipping container conversion is the brainchild of ground-breaking artist-architect Adam Kalkin.

At the touch of a button, this unassuming shipping container unfolds to reveal a fully-furnished space – complete with kitchen, living room, library and bedroom.

The project was constructed entirely from recycled or recyclable materials including the exterior shipping container.


At the Biennale, the Illy Push-Button House operated as a mobile coffee lounge, where weary art enthusiasts could put their feet up and indulge in a complimentary espresso or two.

Illy was not the first to put Kalkin’s Quik House concept to good use.

The design has been adapted for a wide range of alternate uses, including disaster-relief housing, luxury accommodation, and other promotional ventures.