Outdoors

Classic 1960s Airstream is ready for work and play

Classic 1960s Airstream is rea...
You may have a cool office but it probably isn't as cool as the Kugelschiff, which is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year-only model produced in 1964
You may have a cool office but it probably isn't as cool as the Kugelschiff, which is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year-only model produced in 1964
View 19 Images
The Kugelschiff (or "bullet ship") is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year model only produced in 1964
1/19
The Kugelschiff (or "bullet ship") is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year model only produced in 1964
The Kugelschiff has a total floorspace of 80 sq ft (7.4 sq m)
2/19
The Kugelschiff has a total floorspace of 80 sq ft (7.4 sq m)
The Kugelschiff serves as a portable office and retreat 
3/19
The Kugelschiff serves as a portable office and retreat 
You may have a cool office but it probably isn't as cool as the Kugelschiff, which is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year-only model produced in 1964
4/19
You may have a cool office but it probably isn't as cool as the Kugelschiff, which is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year-only model produced in 1964
The Kugelschiff has both a Wi-Fi repeater and Cellular Booster to ensure the internet connection stays on in rural and urban environments
5/19
The Kugelschiff has both a Wi-Fi repeater and Cellular Booster to ensure the internet connection stays on in rural and urban environments
The Kugelschiff has been lovingly restored, down to the classic whitewall tires
6/19
The Kugelschiff has been lovingly restored, down to the classic whitewall tires
The Kugelschiff gets power from solar panels, a battery array, an RV-style hookup or a generator
7/19
The Kugelschiff gets power from solar panels, a battery array, an RV-style hookup or a generator
The Kugelschiff has a custom Nest and Google Home setup
8/19
The Kugelschiff has a custom Nest and Google Home setup
The Kugelschiff's interior includes lots of space-saving furniture
9/19
The Kugelschiff's interior includes lots of space-saving furniture
The Kugelschiff's bed turns into a desk 
10/19
The Kugelschiff's bed turns into a desk 
The Kugelschiff, shown with the desk in position
11/19
The Kugelschiff, shown with the desk in position
The Kugelschiff has a total floorspace of 80 sq ft (7.4 sq m)
12/19
The Kugelschiff has a total floorspace of 80 sq ft (7.4 sq m)
The Kugelschiff has a seating and dining area
13/19
The Kugelschiff has a seating and dining area
The Kugelschiff is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year model only produced in 1964
14/19
The Kugelschiff is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a rare one-year model only produced in 1964
The Kugelschiff is German for Bullet Ship
15/19
The Kugelschiff is German for Bullet Ship
The Kugelschiff serves as a portable office and retreat
16/19
The Kugelschiff serves as a portable office and retreat
The Kugelschiff has both a Wi-Fi repeater and Cellular Booster to ensure the internet connection stays on in rural and urban environments
17/19
The Kugelschiff has both a Wi-Fi repeater and Cellular Booster to ensure the internet connection stays on in rural and urban environments
The Kugelschiff's clever interior layout makes the most of the limited available space
18/19
The Kugelschiff's clever interior layout makes the most of the limited available space
The Kugelschiff's modern minimalist decor suits the small space
19/19
The Kugelschiff's modern minimalist decor suits the small space

The Airstream trailer is a bona fide icon, so it's best to tread carefully when modifying one. Thankfully, Edmonds + Lee Architects did a fine job turning this model into a modern portable office and dwelling, complete with a desk that converts into a bed and custom automated gadgetry courtesy of Nest.

The Kugelschiff (or "bullet ship") is based on an Airstream Bambi II, a one-year-only model produced in 1964. It had been sold and sent to Germany but new owner Jeff Kleck, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who teaches at Stanford University, had it shipped back to the States, where Edmonds + Lee Architects, headed by project designer Shelley Fu, and builder Sergey Shevchuk of Silver Bullet Trailers got to work. Kleck's daughter, an industrial designer, was also involved – indeed she persuaded her dad to buy one in the first place.

While the exterior has largely been left as-is, the team collaborated to design a custom interior that makes the most of the 80 sq ft (7.4 sq m) of space available. It's very nicely done, with oak cabinetry and Corian surfaces, as well as an ash floor, lending a high-end feel. The sofa is finished in Maharam wool and it also boasts an Eero Saarinen table and Eames chair.

The Kugelschiff's interior includes lots of space-saving furniture
The Kugelschiff's interior includes lots of space-saving furniture

"A collaborative effort that brought together every piece of the Kugelschiff puzzle — including Jeff's industrial designer daughter, Alaina — we created a space that serves as both office and retreat, with things hidden, folded into the walls and cabinetry, under seat cushions, things that flipped open and folded down, a single enclosed space that could be anything at all Jeff ever needed it to be," says Edmonds + Lee Architects. "The kitchen is marked — or rather not marked — by a hidden sink and refrigerator, the desk gets pushed down into a bed, and the meeting space folds out into a dining space."

The Kugelschiff gets power from solar panels, a battery array, an RV-style hookup and a generator, and has a Wi-Fi repeater and cellular signal booster installed to ensure the internet stays connected . Kleck even managed to convince Nest to design and install a unique home automation system.

"Jeff reached out to Nest, inquiring about something that had never been done before: installing the full capabilities of the intelligent Nest system into the power system that runs an independent Airstream," adds Edmonds + Lee Architects. "And as was the theme for the project, the people at Nest got excited and got folded into the process, becoming partners in the effort. They provided the Airstream with a thermostat, smoke and CO2 monitor, camera, alarm system, and Google Home to control it all, even from a distance. They showed up on-site to do custom wiring to the Airstream's batteries and generator, modifying the stock product to integrate it into the new space — with plans now to produce that modification as its own product."

The Kugelschiff has a seating and dining area
The Kugelschiff has a seating and dining area

Kleck now uses his Airstream as a mobile office and camper, heading to the desert, mountains, and beach as his mood takes him. We've no word on the price for this one but it obviously wasn't done on the cheap.

Source: Edmonds + Lee Architects

2 comments
ljaques
The good news is that they will be available for under 6-digits in cost!
Lamar Havard
Yeah, Ijaques, if it’s covered by Gizmag, you can bet it sells for at least 4 times the parts and labor to put it together!