Following in the footsteps of minimalist Japanese variety store Muji, Vipp — the Danish heritage brand best known for stainless steel trash bins and $200 toilet paper holders — is the latest design-centric home goods company to offer its adoring customers something a wee bit larger in scale: an entire home.
While Muji’s newest prefab dwelling, Vertical House, was designed to squeeze into tight urban lots in Japanese cities, Vipp's maiden foray into residential architecture is a retreat, a vacation home, a high-end hermitage, a “plug-and-play getaway” meant to “facilitate an escape to nature.” Vipp explains: “It is neither a house nor a mobile home. Rather, it is a spacious, functional, generic and livable industrial object.”
And as you can see, the home, dubbed Vipp Shelter, does not take on the form of the industrial design object that the family-run company is renowned for. (To date, the iconic Vipp Pedal Bin is the only waste receptacle that’s been admitted to the Museum of Modern Art). But this isn’t to say that Vipp hasn’t dabbled with house-sized garbage cans in the past.
Instead, Vipp Shelter is a simple yet elegant rectangular dwelling made from glass and galvanized steel. Measuring a little under 600 square feet and able to accommodate four svelte Scandinavians, the bi-level dwelling, completely outfitted with Vipp-designed fixtures and furnishings, can be installed on site via crane in less than a week. The delivery time is six months.
A 55m2 steel object emerges in a rugged landscape framed by naked trees and a silent lake that mirrors in the sky frame window façade. At first glance you wouldn’t believe that this silhouette is a Vipp product. But approaching the object, discovering the reoccurring element of steel repeated in the frame and exterior façade and its omnipresence inside, you begin to see the kinship between the Vipp products you already know. And when you slide open the window frames, the interior fitted with Vipp products ranging from hooks to lamps to kitchen convinces you that you have entered a Vipp product.
Vipp is rooted in the design of industrial objects, so the term Shelter is a typology that allows us to define this modern escape as a product inspired by large volume objects such as planes, ferries, submarines.
Jensen goes on to explain that because Vipp Shelter is a prefabricated object that’s been “designed down to the last detail,” the only decision that the customer needs to make is where to put it. Vipp is obviously pushing secluded, woodsy locales where the finished home (seriously, everything is included right down to the bath towels, salt and pepper shakers and, of course, trash cans) blends into the natural landscape — a special, hidden place where its owner can turn to when in need of a quick escape from the chaos of the city.
Because Vipp Shelter offers no room for customization, those who invest in the dwelling should really love the Vipp aesthetic. With a price tag of 485,000 euros ($585,000) — not including delivery (it can be delivered worldwide), installation and view of placid northern European lake — those on the fence should perhaps start out small with a $300 Vipp trash bin.
More nuts and bolts over at Vipp. What do you think of a vacation home in which every last thing is included, leaving no room for the headache — or fun — of customization?
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