Off-grid fabric monolith glamps outside city limits and beyond
While 2020 has given the world serious cabin fever, it's also presented some compelling antidotes, from electric motorhomes to ultralight pickup campers. But sometimes the cure to cabin fever is, well ... a cabin, albeit one with a better view. The Jupe is something of a modern prefabricated cabin meant to drop and assemble anywhere, serving as a proper escape from everyday urban life. The radiant, low-fuss shelter plants temporary roots to deliver natural views and modern technological amenities you can't live without.
Co-founded by Kasita founder and small-living guru Jeff Wilson, Jupe consists of a team with experience at SpaceX, Tesla and AirBnB. Fancying itself a "high-design prefab shelter company," it imagines its unique temporary shelter finding use by the likes of landowners looking for a seasonal off-grid shelter solution or vacation properties in need of a temporary addition to handle overflow.
"The desire to get out of the cities that we’ve seen over the past decade, and the acceleration of that trend during the pandemic, has drained short-term stay inventory for those that want to experience nature," explains Wilson. "The off-the-charts demand to ‘stay close’ make the timing for short-term stay products like Jupe impeccable."
The Jupe shelter packs flat atop its foundation block for easier transport and builds up in a matter of hours, according to its creators. Jupe goes to great lengths to avoid traditional shapes like A-frames, boxes and domes in fashioning a frame-supported fabric shelter quite unlike those that have come before it. The result is a more obliquely angular and artistic monolith that Jupe describes as reminiscent of a cut diamond or interstellar shuttle. The shelter's skeletal aluminum frame members connect snugly by way of corner hubs, giving shape to the luminous, fire-resistant wall and ceiling fabric that glows under the night sky like a frosted lantern globe.
Inside, Jupe rolls out a 111-sq-ft (10.3-sq-m) floor below a ceiling that rises to 11 feet (3.4 m). That space comes partially filled by buyer's choice of single queen-size bed or dual twins topped with Nectar mattress(es). Also included are a desk, chair and ottoman. The floor itself is finished in Baltic birch wood tiling and provides home to 38 cu ft (1.1 cu m) worth of under-floor storage.
The large entryway serves as a particular highlight of Jupe's design, housing a full-height window designed to deliver postcard-worthy views. Face it at the prominent peak, city skyline, water body or prettiest part of your personal horizon and enjoy the view from the comfort of a cozy tent-like monolith cabin.
The Jupe is intended as an escape from the trappings of everyday city life, but it's not meant to escape the bits that young, design-minded individuals don't want to leave behind. It comes prewired with an off-grid electrical system with 200-Ah battery, solar panel, and electrical and USB outlets. The LED lighting system that gives the shelter its ethereal glow is wired into that electrical system, as is the optional Wi-Fi router. Additional options include a Sonos Move speaker with Alexa voice support, a cooler and a front porch.
Jupe shelters are available for preorder now with a US$99 deposit on a $17,500 base price. The company is already building units at its Los Angeles manufacturing facility and timed the release of the first production model with December 21st's "Great Conjunction" event that saw Jupiter and Saturn appear closer together than they have in hundreds of years. It plans to ramp up mass production and deliveries in March 2021. It will also spend time in 2021 touring California and Nevada to showcase its design and features.