Inspiration: Port-A-Bach

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A ‘bach’, pronounced ‘batch’, is Kiwi for holiday house. They’re low-key, usually near the beach or a river or something, and they’re all about kicking back and chilling out in happy, simple style. Atelierworkshop, a cool, Wellington-based design firm run by cool architects Cecile Bonnifait and William Giesen whose aim is to “reconnect people with a physical reality, a territory, its history and a cultural context”.

With that in mind, they came up with this fabulous prototype for a portable bach made from up-cycled containers. It is simply brilliant. It’s not in production, but they will work on bespoke container building solutions, so just imagine the possibilities. This one was made in China and shipped to NZ, so really the same could work wherever you are in the world.

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These are designed to sleep two adults and two kids and to be environmentally clean (they have designed prototypes for solar and wind-power options). Find a great block of land and you can see the minimal impact these little beauties will have on it without you needing to make a permanent property commitment. You could even lease a block of land and drop one of these on it and you’re away!

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When you close it up, it’s all fully enclosed in the secure metal container. Plenty of storage, a bathroom and shower and a composting loo. The interior fabric screening system means you can create rooms within the large open living space. The exterior canvas screen system allows you to shelter the deck area for comfortable indoor/outdoor flow and living and 6 concrete footings are used to form a stable, non-invasive ‘foundation’ which means you can put your bach on lots of different ground conditions. What’s not to love?

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I’d like to order one now please! Visit here for more. And have a look at their houses too, they’re gorgeous.

 

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Camping Gear: Woollen Blankets by Forestry

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I put my old, warm, white cotton Country Road blanket we got as a wedding present on our bed last night. It’s officially chilly in London. Which got me thinking about these Forestry woollen blankets. The last time I was going to include them on the blog, it turned out to be such a hot weekend ahead that I decided to leave them until this cold day came. It’s the day when the ritual of pulling blankets down from the shelves where they’ve been hibernating makes you feel cosy and cuddly.

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Forestry is a design company in the Netherlands that specialises in high quality woven woollen plaids for the home. Kiwi designer Virginia Star Busmann named her company after Forestry Beach on the east coast of New Zealand. Once an in-house designer for one of New Zealand’s leading fabric companies, she has also designed a boutique children’s clothing collection which was available throughout Asia Pacific. These days she focuses on these 100% lamb’s wool blankets. They’re €129 and you can order them from here.

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Romotow: The Coolest Contemporary Caravan

Fast forward to 2015 and camping is looking pretty damn cool! I say 2015, because that’s when (hopefully) we’ll be able to buy a Romotow, “the next frontier in mobile living”.

Created for today’s innovation savvy generation, this design is a pretty radical departure from the boxy and cumbersome caravans we know and, yeah alright, love. But still! The Romotow was created by W2 Limited, a multi-disciplinary design consultancy based in Christchurch, New Zealand and headed up by interior designer Matt Wilkie and structural engineer Stuart Winterbourn.

How cool is the living area ?! It extends out automatically from its sheltered exterior, with an damn ingenious automated swivel, to create up to 70% more floor area to enjoy. Yippee!

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It’s aerodynamic and lightweight for fuel efficiency purposes and towing stability. It will have power assisted braking, pneumatic shocks, gyro assisted self-levelling pads and struts, and even a rear mounted camera.

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W2 is busy approaching leading caravan manufacturers with the view of building a prototype for testing and fitting and eventual production.

“A friend of ours imports caravans from the UK and we got talking one day about the potential cost savings of a flat-packed caravan design that would be easy to manufacture, ship and use. We did some research and realised that caravans had taken a bit of a bad rap in previous years. One camping association had even blamed Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson for his frequent abuse of caravans!” says Matt Wilkie.

“While looking at the movement of a Swiss army knife at our picnic, an idea came to us on how we could create a covered [living] area. We then sketched a ‘mobile living’ unit that could be anything: a caravan, a mobile café, a home office, a weekend escape – and from that moment the concept took on a life of its own.”

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The Romotow will come in a range of sizes (loving that 9m baby) and yes, even the possibility of being a horse float! Read more here.

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Roll on 2015!