Ships Ahoy! Airstream's Land Yacht Concept
For many years I've casually remarked that I can happily accept retirement after I've designed for three specific project types - a hotel, a jet, and a yacht.
I may need to add a new category – an Airstream.
Palm Springs Modernism Week saw the showing of Airstream’s Land Yacht Concept. I’m going to stop you before you groan – this is not your normal “boat on two wheels”. You know what I’m talking about – the typical white plastic camper with it’s not so pretty propane hob and thirteen beds.
I loathe them too.
But Airstream, in an effort to counter the American sensibility, partnered with design studio Officinia Italiana Design, blending nautical functionality, modern Italian design, and the iconic Silver Bullet form in one spectacularly luxe mobile unit on wheels.
This particular unit, Airstream and Technoform S.p.A. fitted their 28’ model, an unassuming silver “Twinkie”, with Corian countertops, LED lighting, inlaid teak flooring, and Ultraleather detailing. I was impressed with Airstream’s use of nautical hardware and ambient, hidden lighting sources to mimic what has before only been available on high-end yachts and sailboats. Dual uses for everything (the “magic mirror” in the bedroom conceals a second television) and the sailboat “use every inch available” mentality complete the home on wheels. And even though the concept has enough detailing to make an Italian scream molto buona, there are retro touches to remind you that Airstream continues to be the longest running recreational vehicle manufacturer on the road today.
Every great thing has it’s minor peeves – notably the suspended vent detail at the end of the curtain rods, that the outlets in the bedroom are far from the bedside tables, and that the pleated curtains do not continue into the side windows (they’re replaced with roller type shades that do nothing for blocking light) – but if the Land Yacht Concept is representative of what is to come in recreational vehicles, I might reconsider my thoughts on small spaces.
On the Road Again…..
All photos courtesy of Airstream except  via DCoopMedia