Japanese architects redefine vacation homes with a series of vintage Airstreams


Japanese pioneering startup, NOT A HOTEL, is revolutionizing vacation homes with its innovative project, “NOT A HOTEL ANYWHERE.” This experiment challenges traditional living concepts by embracing mobility and location independence, using vintage trailers to create a transformative lifestyle.

Designed by Japanese architectural firm, DDAA, the project originated from the request to create five mobile living spaces, each with a specific function such as a bedroom or study. In response, the architects came up with the innovative idea refurbished five aluminum Airstreams, blending vintage charm with modern functionality. The team chose to utilize two larger vehicles from Spartan and three camping trailers from Airstream, to serve essential and independent functions for the project.

The architects also came up with the idea to incorporate of a luxurious outdoor living room, connecting the vehicles with tarps. The design enhances the overall living experience, allowing occupants to enjoy their surroundings while maintaining flexibility. For instance, the larger bedroom vehicle can double as a living room on rainy days, showcasing the adaptability of this mobile living concept.

One unique challenge of the project is its emphasis on mobility, eliminating the need for a fixed location. To achieve a 360-degree view from the windows, materials were strategically chosen to ensure functional elements did not obstruct scenic vistas. The vintage trailer’s original texture was preserved, with minimal modifications for waterproofing.

Among the diverse functions provided, the inclusion of a “sunakku” (snack bar) stands out, paying homage to Japan’s unique night culture. The sunakku, with its distinctive decor, fosters lively exchanges, mirroring the project’s commitment to creating versatile living spaces.

Addressing the challenges of infrastructure, NOT A HOTEL organizes living conditions for three families, ensuring compatibility for off-grid living while temporarily connecting to existing infrastructure. The base camp in Aoshima, Miyazaki Prefecture, with a view of the open sea, serves as a testing ground for these innovative mobile living spaces.

While there are challenges to overcome, NOT A HOTEL envisions a future where a location-independent lifestyle becomes more accessible. The project seeks to bridge the gap between idealistic aspirations and current realities, gradually transforming the conventional understanding of living spaces and urban planning.


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