Starchitect-designed off-grid island paradise heads to auction
If you've ever dreamed of owning a private island paradise, now could be your chance. The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has joined forces with high-end clothing firm Vollebak to design a self-sufficient off-the-grid island getaway near Nova Scotia, Canada, that will be going up for auction to the highest bidder.
The so-called Vollebak Island measures 11 acres (almost 4.5 hectares) and will be centered around the Earth House, which will measure 597 sq m (roughly 6,400 sq ft), spread over nine buildings, and will be partially built into the landscape.
The Earth House's interior will include a living and dining area partially constructed from thatch, with a combined gathering space for cooking, eating and relaxing around a large fire pit. Adjacent to this will be four bedrooms made of hempcrete, 3D-printed concrete, and boulders. Elsewhere will be a Japanese-style bath house with soaking tubs cut from the stone bedrock and a sunken stargazing room and meditation space. A glass brick greenhouse will also be used to grow food.
The Earth House will be complemented by the Wood House, a standalone two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence made from locally sourced wood and offering superb views with its generous glazing.
"Vollebak is using technology and material innovation to create clothes that are as sustainable and resilient as they are beautiful," explained BIG founder Bjarke Ingels. "In other words, the fashion equivalent of BIG's architectural philosophy of Hedonistic Sustainability. For Vollebak Island, we have imagined the rooms as a manmade mount of individual volumes rising out of the ground and a separate outpost at the edge of the breaking waves.
"Each room in the village is made from its own unique material – stacked seaweed, compacted earth, hemp, glass brick or locally sourced stone – tailored for the specific use and experience of that particular room. For Vollebak Island, we incorporate local tradition elevated by global innovation in a self-sustained manmade ecosystem off the coast of Canada."
The buildings will all be powered by a combination of offshore wind, geothermal energy and solar power. Any surplus energy will be stored in Tesla Powerwalls, ensuring that the lights stay on even in poor weather.
Vollebak Island is due to be auctioned via Sotheby's Concierge Auctions. Bidding will open on June 8 and close on June 14. The winner will own the island and will be granted exclusive rights to the design, including planning permission, though will still need to pay for it all to be built.