Let us dial it back to the 1930s, when the prefab model was starting to make waves and settle as an interesting alternative to costly and time-consuming customary house construction methods. It was the rise of an affordable solution, but also intended to remove the pressure of designing a specific layout from the ground up, introducing to the general public the comfort of buying a ready-made residence. Naturally, the format suffered several trend-chasing variations throughout the years, often sacrificing style to extreme functionality. Fast forward to our contemporary era, where minimalism is celebrated and purposeful architecture is within reach, and a welcome variation comes into light, a plug-and-play getaway made by an inconspicuous steel manufacturer from Denmark.
Vipp Shelter comes forth with an intriguing mix of explicit modern influences, all made possible by a single and hefty volume, housing it all under 55m2. The steel grid pairs up with floor-to-ceiling windows, resulting in a confident bid for natural light all round, and easy and ample navigation inside. It takes cues from old-school modernism with an open floor plan, with the surrounding landscape becoming a genuine protagonist as well. The contrast between all furniture pieces and space is evident throughout. Yet a convention was broken—unlike most modern dwellings relying on white colour, this residence valiantly adopts black and grey in an arresting matte variation, achieving a rare combination of timelessness and a slight ultramodern vision of a small lodging.
The first half veers into interaction, relying on the delight an open kitchen can offer with a substantial dinner table making it an ideal site for social gatherings. Windows blessing this ambience on both sides are a welcoming touch. In the second half a contrasting design ethic is employed to its best effect. Sporting a daybed, perfect for meditation alongside the scenery, and the bedroom up a small ladder, this area is all about relaxation and reclusion.
Walking inside the low-key but fascinating dwelling, one notices the remarkable attention to detail in all rooms, especially the interior design and furnishings. The residence looks like an editorial spread out of a high-class shoot. It makes a complex task, such as designing a minimalist ambience, look like an easy one, thanks to its flawless visual compositions—with a tinge of Japanese influence. It’s important to note the thoughtfulness around the lighting project, with a sensitivity towards penumbra, as very few elements were selected for points of light. Not only do the windows offer a cinematic feel, but inside the visitors witness urbane and stylish arrangements seldom found on prefab houses.
There’s a twist with this striking shelter; one can buy it exactly as it looks.
As with every shelter that merits the name, Vipp supplies everything for immediate use for its lucky guests. Just like boutique hotels, this curious abode delivers everything one may need to comfortably enjoy a holiday, or even an extended lengthy sojourn. This is where the other facets of the brand appear with great effect; all kitchen appliances, the daybed, the ladder, the lamps, the shelves, the towels, and even the toilet brush partake of the branding, among others. Everything was thought out in advance, and benefits from being manufactured with the same care and high quality as the rest of the house. Every bolt and joint has its place, just like a perfectly designed large-scale object, such as planes or submarines.
Leading prefab housing in an exciting direction, the northern brand accomplishes a great deal with deceptive nimbleness. A true flagship design for a brand that observed a trend for 75 years before it dared to offer their take on it. The end result was worth the wait.
This article was originally published in Minimalissimo Nº2