Contain Yourself


High Desert photographer Tim Palen may be thinking outside the box, but he’s living inside of it. Actually, he lives in five cargo containers.

Ecotechdesign architect Walter Scott Perry of Los Angeles has created a hybrid house on the Prius concept: combining pre-engineered building and energy conservation features with design flexibility. In addition to repurposing shipping containers, the house uses recycled steel framing and wall panels, recycled Philippine mahogany plywood floors, and perforated-steel solar shading that reduces heat and glare by 50 percent. A “living roof” planted with native desert plants uses gray-water irrigation. A recycled 3,000-gallon tank collects rainwater to irrigate the solar breezeway landscaping, and a 10,000-gallon tank provides potable water.

Palen’s 2,300-square-foot, two-level house near Joshua Tree offers sweeping desert views and features a photo studio made from a steel Butler building; he attached a sixth container for studio storage.

In a hurry for your own hybrid house? Perry’s version can be erected in less than an hour — a fraction of the time it will take you to unpack moving boxes. (

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do not use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

The Bridge House

Often referred to as “The Bridge House” because the great room sits on a steel I-beam structure 6 feet above the terrain in the Little Tuscany neighborhood of Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Regional Association of REALTORS® Names 2016 Leadership Team

The Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors capped one of its most exciting years with its 2015 Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 at The Saguaro Palm Springs.

Toscana Unveils Three Newly Renovated Show Homes

Toscana Country Club recently unveiled dramatic changes made to three of the 10 show homes including floor plan changes and new flooring, cabinets, countertops, furnishings, art and accessories.

Former Debbie Reynolds Home for Sale in Palm Springs

The former Debbie Reynolds Estate is for sale in Palm Springs - the same house were Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher played as a kid.

Living on the Edge

Just up the road from The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage sits Mirada Estates, a prestigious neighborhood that offers more than an amazing place to live.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Winner profiles will be highlighted in a special section in Palm Springs Life’s May 2016 issue. Nominate Your Top Women in Business!
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2016.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2016 Grand Experience