All buildings regardless of their function are usually constructed and planned in relation to their surroundings and the context of their location. There is however a type of structure which is not necessarily dependent on the environment surrounding it, at least not in the common sense. We’re talking about prefab cabins and other such structures which can theoretically be placed just about anywhere and which are usually self-sufficient and able to adapt to their surroundings in various different ways. One such structure is the Shelter which was designed by Danish retailer Vipp, a company which has been working with steel since 1939.
Sure, this is not the only prefabricated shelter out there but the difference between it and the others is that this Shelter was designed more like a product rather than an architectural piece. The reason we say this is because the Shelter comes fully equipped with Vipp’s own range of products and homeware including most of the furniture, fixtures, lighting pieces and even the linens and lots of small accessories. Some have described this as a plug-and-play house which comes already packed with everything a user requires and all that’s left to do is find a suitable site to place it on. Of course, there are some additional things to take into consideration because nothing is really that simple.
The Shelter was conceived to serve as a tool meant to facilitate the escape in nature. It looks like a rectangular box made of metal and glass and, elevated off the ground on small pillars. It first became available in 2014 and it has an interior living space that totals 55 square meters (592 square feet). Two roof protrusions mark the sleeping loft and a skylight which brings in natural light. The Shelter is prefabricated North of Copenhagen and can theoretically be transported anywhere in the world.
The cost is 485,000 euros without transportation. Because this is a product and not an architectural project, it falls on the client to take care of all the details and challenges related to the infrastructure, transportation, as well as the actual positioning of the structure on site, its relation to the terrain, the views and the local climate. These are complications that need to be addressed either with or without professional help. The production of each Shelter takes 6 months and the installation can be completed in 2 to 3 days in most cases.
As far as the design and organization of the shelter is concerned, there are two levels. The main area contains the kitchen, the dining space, the bathroom and nook with a fireplace and a daybed and second area is a narrow sleeping loft which can be accessed via a ladder and which has a glazed ceiling. This home away from home features concrete flooring with radiant heating and 10” insulation throughout. Other notable features include the full-height windows and glass walls which can potentially offer some really amazing views as well as facilitate the connection between indoor and outdoor. Of course, it all depends on where you decide to place this minimalist and cool structure.