For some people, roughing it means a hand-me-down tent and a limp air mattress. But for the rarefied few, it could mean trailer handcrafted from fine woods with a structure inspired by geodesic domes—a veritable jewel box on wheels.
Husband-and-wife designers Brian and Katrina Manzo of Sprouting Sprocket Studio locked into two of the most zeitgeisty and potentially lucrative trends: glamping and tiny houses. For $63,900 you could be the owner of the Hütte Hut, their custom-made streamlined camper. The design, they say, offers a way to have some of the comforts of a camper with a greater connection to the environment. The trailer’s side features two massive doors that swing completely open and a semi-opaque canvas roof that lets air and light inside. The majority of materials are wood—baltic birch floors, a marine-grade plywood shell, and cedar millwork—giving it a funky, earthy 1970s vibe. It’s drop-dead gorgeous and downright expensive.
“We wanted to create a space that would have an emotive reaction and give you a new way of thinking about the outdoors,” Brian says. “Escapism is so appealing for everyone, but the reality is accessing that escape is hard for some people. They’ve never camped before.”
The customers who have contacted Brian and Katrina range from people wanting a backyard hideout to retirees needing a sleeping pod while they tour California’s beaches.
“There’s a Jungian notion of returning to the womb,” Katrina says about the fascination with small spaces and going back to the land. “People want an escape from the artifacts of a successful life and to come back to something that allows them to disconnect. It gets so metaphysical that we have to have to step back and laugh at ourselves. It is a trailer after all.”