Homes On The Road
At Been-Seen, we definitely have a soft spot for mobile homes – the kind that you can collapse and stuff into your suitcase, that is. Well, almost. Recently we've noticed a trend for holiday homes you can ship in packing crates, haul by truck or drop from a crane into amazing locations all over the world. Here are just a few of the gems we've dug up.
Let's start with Richard Horden, the king, in our opinion, of micro-architecture. We've featured his m-ch micro-compact home (above), the little cube that can be taken anywhere and planted into position.
We've also been wowed by his incredible SkiHaus, which can be lifted by helicopter to the highest peaks for exhausted skiers.
Other cool designs include his Peak Lab, a futuristic cabin that can be hung on the side of cliffs; Point Lookout, a beach hut on a giant tripod; and his students' m-igloo, a teeny little penguin-inspired
bedroom pulled by skidoo.
Mobile homes by other designers include The Orb, a lightweight cylindrical cabin with the legal status of a caravan. That means you can set it up in the woods, in a field, or even – amazingly – float it downstream.
Then there's the gorgeous Lifepod, an otherworldly oval unit inspired, rather surprisingly, by Mongolian yurts. You can take it anywhere with you if you have the hauling power, hang it in a tree or float it on a lake.
British Travelodge appear to be the first hotel chain to have gone fully mobile with their prototype Travelpod. It's basically a shipping container with a hotel room inside it.
When it's up and running it will be available for festivals, camping trips, or almost anything you can imagine.
Along the same lines, Tom Kundig's Rolling Huts are about the same size as shipping containers. The difference is that they are on wheels, and can, rather conveniently, be rolled around until you find a home for them.
Don't like the view when you get up in the morning? Turn the hut around. Tired of your campground? Try the one down the hill.
Now for some truly mobile homes – cars and trucks that morph into bedrooms and even hotels.
Take Bob the Transformer. He's a prototype car that pops open to become a tent. The Nissan NV200 is a concept van that slides open to become a mobile office, but there's plenty of room to sleep in it too.
Then there's the almost unbelievable Hotelmovil, a Spanish truck that, thanks to the miracle of mechanics, unfolds into a five-star hotel. Not just for one person – it can accommodate 50.
If you think that's clever, here's one that beats them all – a Danish design called the Walking House. It's a cabin that gets up and walks. Like the Rolling Huts but with legs. Not surprisingly it's still a prototype, but we have high hopes.
– Roshan McArthur