Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green building.
Eco-architect downsizes ... to an Airstream trailer
With the help of Craigslist and plenty of creative thinking, architect Matthew Hofmann embarks on a remarkable home downsizing project: The green renovation of a 1978 Airstream trailer.
Tue, Mar 08, 2011 at 02:00 AM
If you caught my post
last week about the Marmol Radziner Prefab-designed collection of affordable and eco-friendly abodes being installed in Santa Monica’s Mountain View Mobile Home Park, you perhaps thought about how drastically mobile home design has evolved over the years. Or maybe you didn’t.
Regardless, the dwellings that make up mobile home parks these days don’t always appear to be mobile nor do they look anything like stereotypical run-down double-wides that have long been associated with trailer park living. And then there’s Matthew Hofmann
, an architect whose latest and undoubtedly most personal project is part ingenious green renovation and part experiment in drastic downsizing/small-space living. And what do you know ... it involves a vintage Airstream trailer
After becoming frustrated with the small-but-pricey condo offerings in the Santa Barbara area, Hofmann purchased, via Craigslist, that iconic staple of mobile home/RV living of yesteryear, an Airstream, and decided to make it his new home and workspace
Before moving into his new home-on-wheels with his girlfriend, Hofmann went about treating the 25-foot 1978 Airstream to a green makeover. This included the installation of bamboo countertops, floors, and tables, recycled tiles, and the use of locally sourced and recyclable materials. All of the old scrap materials were sent to a recycling yard while all of the old appliances and fixtures were sold on Craigslist or donated. Hofmann (who is 6'4"!) tells the Los Angeles Times
: “To me, sustainable practices are a mere starting point for design.”
Some friends and family don't understand why I've chosen this lifestyle, while others say I'm living their dream. Before the remodel, most expressed some form of ‘good luck …’ with doubt-filled grins. It's pleasant to bring the same folks inside to see the finished product. I enjoy working with clients with gutsy audacity — like me. Life-changing events, such as a fire, remind people that they can do with much less and be content.
Head on over to the L.A. Times
to read more about Hofmann’s remarkable Airstream remodel and to Hofmann Architecture
to see more photos (including some “before” shots). Not what you'd imagine the inside of a decades-old Airstream trailer to look like, eh? And to be clear, Hofmann’s Airstream is not
currently situated in a trailer park but on an oceanview lot where a home had recently burned down. Like the trailer itself, the land was found via Craigslist.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.