Two projects - apparently similar, because in both cases the starting point was the idea to replace a permanent wall with fabric. But the results are very different. Opera and Markies are two design concepts that allow to look at caravanning from a different perspective.
A caravan, no matter how big it is, during a longer stay at the campsite is always too small. In terms of size and comfort, perhaps it would be better to hire a tourist cottage, already equipped with all facilities. But what if we imagine a house on wheels? Small, with two-rooms... Maybe even with glassed terrace.
Theoretically, it’s possible, if we turn a tractor-trailer into a motorhome. Even the balcony is possible if we use sliding walls. There’s no denying, however, that it’s a very expensive solution, besides driving a lorry on many touristic router won’t be even possible.
A terrace for free
A Dutch designer, Eduard Bohtlingkt, approached the subject differently. As a starting point he took an angular caravan, of a fairly typical sizes (2 x 4.5 m). It can be simply hooked up to any car and no one will suspect what it hides inside.
However, it appears that this is not a typical caravan. Once we park it on the campsite, we just press the button, and in a few seconds it triples its size!
Awnings slide out from both sides of the caravan, which create two additional rooms, which size is comparable to the main part of the caravan. On the one side we get a bedroom, on the other – a "glassed" terrace (with foil instead of glass). On sunny days, you can fold the roof, and the platform can be used eg. during fishing.
The concept itself isn’t new, because it was born in 1985. Though, in the '90s it revived again. In 1996, "Marquees" received the audience award in an event Rotterdam Design Prize.
Opera on wheels
Another project worth attention is called Opera, and its name refers to the famous concert hall building in Sydney. This association appears itself, if you look at the unfolded caravan . The roof of this original structure looks impressive.
Anyway when we look at this caravan, we have the illusion that under the thick cloth are simple walls. You can see the wheels on two axles and a part of the body. But it's not true! This caravan has only the roof made of strong, double canvas!
The caravan in the folded version resembles a simple goods trailer. It hides all the camping accessories - including fridge, sink, double bed, even an air conditioning. It turns out that in order to have it all, you don’t need to tow a high and uncomfortable caravan. In case of this vehicle, the roof and walls can be conjured up at the campsite.
The designer Axel Enthoven argues that Opera reminds a luxury hotel. Maybe there’s a lot of exaggeration in this statement, but the designer underlines the fact that his dream caravan should be made of the materials and equipment of the highest class.
Inside you will find wooden floors and cabinets, toilet, water heater, two beds, LED lighting, and due to the fact that the tent is larger than that expected from the size of the caravan, the additional advantage could also be a shaded vestibule.
Yeah, could be... This caravan has also won awards for design, but like Markies, there is a little chance for series production. And it’s a pity, because those are very interesting products.