The illy Push Button House was designed by Adam Kalkin for the 2007 Venice Biennale after his original prototype was unveiled at Art Basel in Miami Beach Florida in 2005. In this version, illy Coffee teams up with Kalkin to further embody the “connection to beauty through art and design.” Just like the original model, this one utilizes a single 8’ x 20’ shipping container to create a five room home at the push of a button.
On the exterior, the house maintains its original cargo container appearance. However, when the button is pushed, four motors operated by hydraulic cylinders open and lower the containers’ sides. White furniture and interior finishes attached to the sides of the containers create a pure white interior. Spaces include living room, bedroom and bath that surround the kitchen, dining area and library in the center. Further, illy coffee set up the house to be used as a coffee shop during the Biennale. “Guests to Push Button House had the opportunity to sample the world’s finest coffee using illy’s new iperEspresso system, participate in coffee classes, view dance and performance art and listen to caffè conversations.” The house must be used inside a large enclosed space or outside in good weather.
Project successes include portability of the basic module and the speed that it is transformed into a house. Project shortcomings include limited conditions when it can be used.
Kotnik, Jure, Container Architecture, Links Books, 2009, pp. 202-205