In last week’s news-wrangling “Playing catch up” post, I mentioned (item no. 9) beloved West Coast shelter rag Sunset’s Allison Arieff-penned roundup of standout “Cargotecture” (read: shipping container homes). What I failed to mention is that, in addition to admiring “7 of the West’s most innovative applications" and pretty much co-opting the term "cargotecture," Sunset unveiled its very own shipping container show home, the Sunset Idea House 2011. The big reveal took place at Celebration Weekend, the magazine’s annual, always-tasteful hootenanny (Etsy Vendors! Wine seminars! Artisanal street food! Rick Bayless!) in Menlo Park, Calif.

Before being branded as Sunset’s Idea House 2011 and going on display at Celebration Weekend, the 192-square foot, solar-powered mini-home was better known as Cargotecture c192 Nomad from Seattle-based prefab firm HyBrid Architecture (check out a time-lapse video documenting the installation of HyBrid founder Robert Humble’s modular home here).

The base model of the stylish, petite-sized dwelling costs $59,500 and includes bamboo flooring, galley kitchen, a mini-loo complete with dual-flush toilet and ceiling-mounted shower, and more. Expansive openings “allow the space to fully embrace its surroundings.”

The Cargotecture c192 nomad (tightly) sleeps up to four people and was designed not as a primary residence but as a backyard cottage or cabin. Apparently, prior to landing in Menlo Park as a model home, the 24-foot long, nine-year old container structure traveled (via South Korea) more than half a million nautical millions across the globe.

As noted by Lloyd Alter over at TreeHugger, past Sunset Idea House’s have been a bit grander — prefab poster girl Michelle Kaufmann unveiled her Gildehouse at Celebration Weekend in 2004 — in years past. Sunset’s choice to feature a tiny, tricked-out shipping container home is reflective of our lean-ish times.

Learn more about the Cargotetcture c192 Nomad and other HyBrid Architecture homes here. Also, be sure to meet the designers of the home over at and keep an eye out for the August 2011 print issue of the magazine where the home will be featured in further detail. Did any of you happen to make it to this year's Celebration Weekend to guzzle wine, take in a few cooking demos, and tour the 2011 Idea Home?

Also on MNN: 8 eye-catching shipping container homes

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