Students rethink Californian "Parkitecture"

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Students at Cal Poly Pamona have reimagined the state park cabin

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Students at California Polytechnic Pomona have been reinterpreting the cabins used by visitors to US state parks as part of a program by the Architecture Department Studio. Revamp the Camp aimed to make the cabins in California State Parks cheaper and greener, as well as more appealing to a wider range of park users.

Revamp the Camp is was run by the Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona in partnership with the Parks Forward scheme. Parks Forward is aiming to "bring out the very best …, improve efficiency [and] increase accessibility" at California's state parks in the face of budget cuts.

The program asked students to submit innovative new designs for state park cabins that considered issues of culture, sustainability, mobility, and construction. It sought out submissions that were inventive, low cost and eco-friendly alternatives to existing and traditional options.

Four final designs were created via the Revamp the Camp program, each by a different group of students.

The Wedge was designed to retain a connection with the outdoors. It provides shelter for 1-4 people and has a sloping roof (hence its name) that covers both the indoor section and a porch area. The cabin is made from cedar, pine and tempered glass giving it a rustic-cum-modern aesthetic. The design is aimed at being durable and easy to transport.

The Skyline also has a rustic but modern style whilst seeking to provide a connection between the indoors and outdoors. Like the Wedge, it has a porch area, although it is more open and wraps around the side of the cabin. It is raised up on wooden beams and has space for 1-4 people. Cedar, knotty pine, lexan polycarbonate sheeting and tempered glass are used.

The cPitch looks almost like a cross between the Wedge and the Skyline. It has a both sloping roof and a wrap around porch area. The design itself if referred to as having rustic and "California Parkitecture" elements. Parkitecture is a style developed within US national and state parks that ensured buildings would fit in with the surrounding environment. Amongst the materials used for its construction are plywood and Douglas fir. It sleeps 1-4 people with space for storage and has large windows to allow light in.

Finally, the Revo Pod draws inspiration from the classic California lifeguard station. It is raised with a steel frame and also makes use of fiber glass, wood and lexan windows. The pod can accommodate 1-3 people and amongst its design benefits are durability, long-term savings and skylights for stargazing.

A prototype of the Wedge cabin has been displayed at a number of shows, whilst at least one of the designs is expected to be placed in a California state park with the potential for being rolled out further.

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