This archive of Mobile Structures is intended to serve as a resource for people that currently use Mobile Structures, that are interested in developing new mobile structures, and that are interested in the ideas that inform these practices. Mobile Structures are incredibly diverse in function and design. They exist for innumerable reasons, from military applications to basic entertainment purposes. This site attempts to present the vast array of individuals, organizations, and corporations that are using or marketing mobile structures to provide services, present ideas, and perform outreach.

It becomes easy to find commonalities of design in structures that are utterly unrelated in intent when looking at all varieties of mobile structures rather than just those designed for a specific purpose. One can start to see relationships between a mobile memorial and a mobile movie theater, or a library bookmobile and a mobile pet adoption center. One can start to think about what a mobile gym and a mobile dentist office might have in common. In researching mobile structures, it slowly becomes evident that every stationary institution seems to have its mobile equivalent - either as an extension of that institution or as a separate portable equivalent. Some museums have mobile traveling versions of their collection, while other museums lack a fixed location existing entirely in modified trucks.

Many of these structures exist to fulfill either a desire or a need to perform outreach, present ideas, or create convenience where easy accessibility is lacking. A library bookmobile brings books to people in rural areas that lack easy access to libraries.  A mobile medical unit brings surgery to people that lack hospitals. A shared interest in mobility unites the most diverse practices. One can imagine bringing all of these mobile practitioners together and finding that they would have a lot to talk about with one another.

This archive attempts to break down some distinctions between practices in order to highlight the variety of mobile structures that are available. Bringing these disparate structures together suggests how one might develop even more interesting hybrid structures. Could one develop a mobile gym and movie theater where you could watch a film while riding an exercise bike? Could a mobile pet adoption service and dentist office co-exist, where a specialist that is trained as both a dentist and a veterinarian could alternately assist people and animals from the same modified trailer? This archive shows endless permutations of similar structures.

A lot of people don't own their own houses or businesses, but many people own cars and bicycles. Even more people own luggage carts. Anyone can own or borrow a push cart or an abandoned shopping cart. Anything you can take with you or move from one location to the next to present ideas or perform a service qualifies as a mobile structure. While some of these resources are highly elaborate, other designs are incredibly modest. A Mobile Structure can be as large as an 18 Wheeler and as small as your coat pocket. Mobile Structures provide people with a means of bringing their work to others and expanding the audiences for their ideas.

Page 1 - Introduction:
Commercial Applications
Medical Services
Disaster Relief
Military Applications

Page 2:
Food Services
Recreation, Health and Fitness
Potential Mobility
Animal Related Services
Pretense of Mobility
God on the Go
Page 3:
Art Projects
Homes that are Mobile
Page 4:
Homeless Services
Death, Crime and Mayhem
Mobile Document Shredding Services
Page 5:
Power washing
Petting Zoos

Page 6:
Video and Film


Traveling Billboards

Siegal Office of Mobile Design

"Since 1998, Office of Mobile Design has focused on developing "mobile" architecture, designing and constructing portable, demountable, and mobile structures. OMD specializes in finding non-standard solutions to unconventional and unique problems, with dynamic rather than static and permanent structures. A majority of OMD's work involves providing services to public agencies, non-profit agencies, schools, commercial businesses, and private interests. Research and education-based projects have yielded a number ofmodels that serve as templates for subsequent projects. 

Mission Statement:By designing non-permanently sited structures that move across and rest lightly upon the land, OMD is rethinking and reestablishing methods of building that contrast the generic clutter that increasingly crowds the landscape. Inspired by Sant'Elia's Futurist manifesto, OMD shares the philosophy that "we no longer believe in the monumental, the heavy and static, and have enriched our sensibilities with a taste for lightness, transience and practicality." This desire for the "active, mobile, and everywhere dynamic" that provoked the Italian Futuristic machine aesthetic, infuses OMD's work. Like machines in a metropolis, however, OMD's built projects bring innovative community-based programs to their users. Vision melds with a desire for user-based, program inspired machines accessible through their mobility."

AdsOnWheels - Mobile Billboard Gallery

Portable Toilets


Woodhead Mobile Exhibits




Workbike Makers

"Workbikes can take many forms, from relatively simple, low-cost trailers to state-of-the-art pedicabs. Over one hundred years of design evolution mean there is probably a bike which suits your particular application.

Here you'll find links to information on all kinds of human-powered cargo carriers that are in production and available for sale."

Bikes at Work

Mobile Workshop, Tool Storage, and Tool Workshop at Eagle Mobile Workshop


Forkliftable Office Systems by Commercial Structures (link no longer active:

Temporary Dining Structures

Trailer Manufacturer Ameri - Can (link no longer active:

"We manufacture a complete line of trailers for:

Mobile Restroom Units, Shower Units, A.D.A. Restroom Units, Dressing Rooms, Drug Screening, Environmental Labs, Food Service, Laundry Service, Mobile Homeless Shelters, Mobile Medical Waste Holding Units, Decontamination Units and Executive Office Units" 

Stewart's Mobile Concepts


Mobile Beauty Parlor (link no longer active:






Mobile and Portable Cabins

Pacific Mobile Offices




Ultra Mobile Structures (link no longer active:

Bookmobiles are extremely common. We have found countless links. The links below are representative of what we have found. The * denotes pages with images that were more interesting than those found on the other pages.

Representative quote:

"[...] Mobile library design increasingly focuses on the creation of a hospitable, comfortable, efficient and durable environment for the provision of library services. These guidelines address all aspects of bookmobile service operations - from interior and exterior design considerations to staffing, fuel system recommendations, management, evaluation of services and technological considerations... bookmobiles best serve marginalized communities... the bookmobile is designed to promote access.

 Simply fulfilling basic library services to unserved or underserved populations is in itself an admirable accomplishment for a bookmobile and its parent library. What distinguishes bookmobiles from shut-in service delivery vans or drop boxes intended for the same user population as a bookmobile, is their flexibility, capacity, adaptability and potential for creativity. The ability to cater to a specific audience with a focussed yet wide collection in the morning and an entirely different audience seeking different materials in the afternoon, in both cases at a location determined by the audiences, is something that only a mobile library can accomplish"

Extensive list of bookmobiles in Germany




Seattle Public Library Mobile Services - Meet the Fleet (link no longer

Browser's Bookmobile

High Country's Mobile Library

Kobe Municipal Library Book Mobile*


Bradford County Bookmobile (link no longer

Book Mobile from Missouri, 1947*

Butler County Bookmobile

Kershaw County Library Bookmobile (Nice paint job)*

Rawls Regional Library Bookmobile

Bookmobile, Jackson County Public Library

Die Freihandbibliothek auf Rädern - Biblioteca mobile


Women on Waves (mobile abortion clinic)

"Women on Waves will charter a 40 meter ship with the following requirements: 

              o Either a motor ship , as a crewship or supplier or a motor-sailor with 2 masts;
              o Length 30-50 meters; 

              o Tonnage around 450 GT.; 

              o Accommodation for a total crew of 5; 

              o Potential for up to 25 patients; 

              o Satellite communications; 

              o Worldwide (navigation) trading; 

              o Main engine 300-750 HP; 2 Auxiliaries; Generator 350 V/3-50 HZ > 220 V/1-60 HZ; 

              o Extra spaces totaling 50 m2= compressor room; medical supply storage; office; patient accommodation space (waiting

              room and recovery facilities; 10 beds = 10 chairs); 

              o Recent qualification and registration and classification. 


The treatmentroom, designed by Atelier van Lieshout ), will be outfitted with the state of the art equipment in a shipping container that can be simply and securely attached to a ship on a very short notice. The design is aimed at transforming a clinical environment into a friendly and comfortable space." 

The abortion clinic was designed by Atelier Van Lieshout >>>


The Mobile Dentist | Dental Cafe (link no longer active:


Mobile Mammography (link no longer active:

"The mobile mammography program is a division of the South Carolina Comprehnesive Breast Center for Palmetto Palmetto Health Alliance. The mission of the Breast Health Center is to extend and enhance the quality of life of those we serve through the early detection of breast cancer. To this end, we dedicate our facility and the skills, knowledge and abilities of all members of our professional and supporting staff."


Mobile Hospital Complex (link no longer active:


Mobile Surgical Unit  

"The Mobile Surgical Unit is a 22 foot Isuzu truck with a full operating room in the back. Many general, gynecological, and urological surgeries are performed in the mobile unit by the Cinterandes surgical team. They generally operate in Cuenca on Tuesdays, in the surrounding area on Thursdays, and take 3-5 day trips about once a month to various destinations. These destinations include trips into the high Andes, the rainforest and to the coast."

Mobile Medical

Mobile Health Resource Center


NOAH - Neighborhood Outreach Action for Health

Mobile Blood Bank in Saudi Arabia

The Chicago  Recovery Alliance - Mobile Needle Exchange


FEMA: Mobile Emergency Response Support (link no longer active:

"Disasters may require resources beyond the capabilities of the local or State authorities. 

In response to Regional requests for support, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides mobile telecommunications, operational support, life support, and power generation assets for the on-site management of disaster and all-hazard activities. This support is managed by the Response and Recovery Directorate's Mobile Operations Division (RR-MO). 

The Mobile Operations Division has a small headquarters staff and five geographically dispersed Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) Detachments and the Mobile Air Transportable Telecommunications System (MATTS)"


Rapid Deployment Kitchens for hospitals and food contractors

Mobile Whole Body Counting Services

"Helgeson Scientific Services, the first to offer mobile whole body counting services, has the experience, operators, equipment, and evaluation resources to meet the needs of customers who desire and need whole body counting, but lack the need to have one permanently at their disposal. It also fills the need when outages require whole body counting that exceeds the existing capacity of the installed whole body counter." 


Mobile Self-contained Emergency Safety Showers (link no longer


Tam A.S, Norway - The Flat Packed Military and Civil mobile lightweight sandwich shelter


Hardigg Industries workstations cases

Giat Industries (link not

Mobile Bomb Detection Solution, Auto Van X-ray Screening

Mobile Structures Resources:
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This archive is a collaborative effort between Jesse Bercowetz and Temporary Services. Special thanks to Simon Blackmore & Brennan McGaffey.