There’s been a very tiny trend popping up over the last several years that you may have noticed if you’ve been anywhere near YouTube, HGTV, or the internet in general lately: small, portable, prefabricated homes that bridge the gap between suburbia and off-the-grid living. With the unrelenting, soul-sucking barrage of a 24-hour news cycle, the rapidly declining patience of Mother Nature, a looming breach of the uncanny valley, and the constant threat of zombies, mysterious pandemics, and/or a cyborg takeover, it’s hardly shocking that more people are looking to tiny and prefab homes as a way to shuffle off the modern coil and Thoreau it. The trend is so popular, in fact, that it has even become a celebrated way to vacay.
Tiny homes can take any number of forms, from beautiful luxury wilderness lofts to fully loaded Walking Dead-style apocalypse shelters, but designer and architect Christophe Benichou had something a bit different in mind when he partnered with Lumicene to create his own take on a tiny house, a project he has since lovingly dubbed “a cocoon in the wilderness.” Instead of bringing along all the bells and whistles of modern life, the LumiShell combines a simple, straightforward selection of building materials with an understated design to form an almost ethereal shelter whose every detail wraps occupants in the surrounding landscape.
At just over 430 square feet, the LumiShell is a tiny package built to deliver a grand experience: the majestic beauty of outdoor living with all the basic comforts of the indoors. The design focuses around two Lumicene units: circular rooms on either end of the shelter that are wrapped in aluminum-framed curved glass panels that can be slid open to erase the barriers between home and wilderness.
On one end, the circular room is equipped with a simple white couch facing out towards the landscape, urging residents to abandon their devices and soak in the view. On the other, an acutely sleek, modern bed nearly disappears into its surroundings as it sits comfortably awaiting evening starscapes. At the center of the home sits the bathroom, an unexpected showstopper of a room that uses mirrored glass and strategic transparency to build a private oasis awash in reflections of the landscape just beyond its walls.
The LumiShell’s thoughtful simplicity carries into its construction and setup as well, using dependable materials like aluminum and wood to achieve both structural security and a refreshingly bright and airy aesthetic. The entire structure is self-supporting, able to be assembled on any flat surface with no need for a foundation in four to five days, and can be equipped with a solar panel roof and a rainwater recovery system for a truly green experience. You can pre-order your cozy little cocoon now, with installations beginning in 2018. Now all you have to do is choose your wilderness.
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