it seems like there are a lot of these being built, so maybe it's time for them to have their own thread? here's the idea:
Shipping Container Miner’s Hotel in Chilean Desert Capped With Huge Canvas Roof
by Andrew Michler, 04/20/11
The now infamous Chilean Mines are located in the country's northern Atacama Desert -- one of the most inhospitable places on earth for life. Our demand for energy and minerals keeps growing, so finding a way to inhabit one of the driest and sunniest places on earth was the challenge presented to AATA Architects when they were asked to design a low-cost but effective shelter for miners. Their solution was to create a large apartment complex out of shipping containers and drape the entire campus with canvas to protect it from the region's relentless sunshine.