At just 80 square feet, The Kugelschiff is a renovated Airstream Bambi II that now serves as a tech entrepreneur’s tiny home and office.
The definitively modern, live/work space that Robert Edmonds of Edmonds + Lee Architects recently devised is at once flexible, technological, and mobile.
Nicknamed The Kugelschiff (German for bullet ship), Edmonds’s design—shelled by a glistening vintage Airstream—began with the needs and ideas of his clients Jeff Kleck, a technology entrepreneur, and Kleck’s daughter Aliana, an industrial designer.
Since Jeff works from home and travels between projects, he wanted a mobile space where he could live and conduct business. “I needed space that would let me work from home, or anywhere I needed to be for meetings, and anywhere I wanted to be for inspiration,” Jeff says. “I needed something high-tech with connectivity to the Internet and the Cloud, and big enough for a few people to gather some of the time.”
With the help of Alaina, Jeff concluded that a midcentury Airstream with modern interiors and contemporary technology would serve each of his needs. “Modern design environments have always been my preference as they’ve an atmosphere of optimism,” he says.
Jeff searched for a year and finally found an Airstream Bambi II, an iconic model built in 1964-65. He purchased the trailer and promptly enlisted Edmonds to redesign the interior to suit his needs. “I looked to aeronautical architecture, where there’s a tossing out of the traditional givens—edge, corner, and boundary—and instead looked at the space as a three-dimensional system that needs to be many things at once and still highly stylized,” Edmonds says.
Built by Sergey Shevchuk of Silver Bullet Trailer, Edmonds’s design features white-painted, aluminum interior wall panels; white ash flooring and cabinetry; and Corian countertops. “The glossy finish of the painted aluminum minimizes visual clutter and accentuates the play of light on the curved surface of the ceiling and walls,” explains Edmonds, who also outfitted the Airstream with an Eero Saarinen-designed Tulip table, Charles and Ray Eames-designed chairs, and built-in bench cushions upholstered with Maharam wool.
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