Architecture

NZ architects transform retro caravan into a mobile office

New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space
View 33 Images
Studio106 goes mobile
1/33
Studio106 goes mobile
Going mobile allows the architects to park up anywhere
2/33
Going mobile allows the architects to park up anywhere
The idea to create a mobile office space on wheels came to the team of architects and designers after the need to make a decision on its upcoming office rental review
3/33
The idea to create a mobile office space on wheels came to the team of architects and designers after the need to make a decision on its upcoming office rental review
The portable office concept enables the team to travel and work directly on different project sites
4/33
The portable office concept enables the team to travel and work directly on different project sites
The Studio106 team positions the caravan studio for the day
5/33
The Studio106 team positions the caravan studio for the day
Studio106 decides to go mobile
6/33
Studio106 decides to go mobile
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently reduced its urban 95 sq m (1,022 sq.ft) office space to a tiny 9 sq m (97 sq.ft) working mobile unit
7/33
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently reduced its urban 95 sq m (1,022 sq.ft) office space to a tiny 9 sq m (97 sq.ft) working mobile unit
Dion Gosling sets up the finishing touches
8/33
Dion Gosling sets up the finishing touches
Studio106's director Dion Gosling and interior designer Kerri Cunliffe converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space
9/33
Studio106's director Dion Gosling and interior designer Kerri Cunliffe converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space
The Studio106 team unpack the office equipment
10/33
The Studio106 team unpack the office equipment
The new mobile studio includes all the essential office equipment
11/33
The new mobile studio includes all the essential office equipment
Instant mobile office with a view
12/33
Instant mobile office with a view
Working away from the city has its perks
13/33
Working away from the city has its perks
Studio106's director Dion Gosling
14/33
Studio106's director Dion Gosling
Nice spot to work on your computer for a change
15/33
Nice spot to work on your computer for a change
Dion Gosling enjoys a moment working on the outdoor stand-up desk
16/33
Dion Gosling enjoys a moment working on the outdoor stand-up desk
A flexible stand-up desk offers the possibility to work in the shade of a near by tree
17/33
A flexible stand-up desk offers the possibility to work in the shade of a near by tree
Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space, complete with cardboard and portable furniture
18/33
Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space, complete with cardboard and portable furniture
Project discussions around the outdoor meeting table
19/33
Project discussions around the outdoor meeting table
The portable office concept enables the team to enjoy the outdoors for longer
20/33
The portable office concept enables the team to enjoy the outdoors for longer
The outdoor area allows for a more permanent working zone, ideal for larger meetings, lunches or gatherings
21/33
The outdoor area allows for a more permanent working zone, ideal for larger meetings, lunches or gatherings
The idea to create a mobile office space on wheels came to the team of architects and designers after enjoying a long Southern Hemisphere summer
22/33
The idea to create a mobile office space on wheels came to the team of architects and designers after enjoying a long Southern Hemisphere summer
The final result is a clean and fresh mobile office complete with a retractable wall, cardboard desks, outdoor furniture, computers and essential office equipment
23/33
The final result is a clean and fresh mobile office complete with a retractable wall, cardboard desks, outdoor furniture, computers and essential office equipment
Studio106 completed the conversion in approximately seven days
24/33
Studio106 completed the conversion in approximately seven days
Working alongside local businesses, Studio106 managed to keep its costs to a minimum
25/33
Working alongside local businesses, Studio106 managed to keep its costs to a minimum
The overall layout and design of the mobile office includes a couple of "break-out" zones
26/33
The overall layout and design of the mobile office includes a couple of "break-out" zones
One outdoor zone is made up of a small white-board table and a few stools
27/33
One outdoor zone is made up of a small white-board table and a few stools
Work as usual
28/33
Work as usual
The caravan includes a unique and hand-made paper ceiling installation
29/33
The caravan includes a unique and hand-made paper ceiling installation
The new tiny mobile space means the team could now easily work on site and directly with their client
30/33
The new tiny mobile space means the team could now easily work on site and directly with their client
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space
31/33
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space
Cardboard desks by Refold
32/33
Cardboard desks by Refold
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space
33/33
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space

NewZealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently reduced its urban95-m2 (1,022-ft2) office space to a tiny 9 m2 (97 ft2) workingmobile unit. With help from local business Retro Events,Studio106's director Dion Gosling and interior designer KerriCunliffe converted a retro caravan into a mobile office space,complete with cardboard desks and portable furniture.

Theidea to create a mobile office space on wheels came to the team ofarchitects and designers after enjoying a long Southern Hemispheresummer and the need to make a decision on their upcoming office rentalreview. The portable office concept enables the team to not only enjoy theoutdoors for longer, but also travel and work directly on differentproject sites.

Gizmagrecently got the chance to interview Studio106's director Dion Gosling and interior designer Kerri Cunliffe about their "Gone Mobile" experience. Here's what they hadto say:

"Thecaravan just sort of came along as a solution to how we could getmobile and 'chase' the good weather around and explore the concept ofa mobile office. Simply relocating to asmaller space by the sea side just wasn't as appealing as somethingon wheels – it really spoke to the exploration and freedom of summerroad trips that we had all just enjoyed over the break. The caravanfelt like an extension of the summer holiday whilst sneaking workinto the mix. The inside was 9 m2, which was a significant reductionfrom our 95-m2 office in the city. But it didn't feel that smalldue to the ability to open up one side of the caravan and extend theoffice out."

New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently reduced its urban 95 sq m (1,022 sq.ft) office space to a tiny 9 sq m (97 sq.ft) working mobile unit
New Zealand architectural firm Studio106 has recently reduced its urban 95 sq m (1,022 sq.ft) office space to a tiny 9 sq m (97 sq.ft) working mobile unit

Working alongside localbusinesses, Studio106 managed to keep its costs to a minimum, all thewhile completing the conversion in approximately seven days. The finalresult was a clean and fresh mobile office complete with aretractable wall, cardboard desks, outdoorfurniture, computers and essential office equipment.

"The bones of thecaravan were great so this made the task a little easier," the team says. "We employed the age old architecturemotto 'less is more' and stripped the interior back, introducing aninterior ceiling feature, soft furnishings and crucial officeequipment. It was a great opportunity to review what we really needto work effectively – desk, chairs and computer were obvious, butbooks, our library, printers and other items were reduced."

The overall layout anddesign of the mobile office included a couple of "break-out"zones. The first is the inclusion of a flexible stand-up desk,offering the possibility to work or have meetings outdoors or in theshade of a nearby tree. The second zone is made up of a smallwhiteboard table and a few stools, allowing for a more permanentoutdoor working zone, ideal for larger meetings, lunches orgatherings. Bringing some of thecreativity from its previous office, the caravan includes a uniqueand handmade paper ceiling installation.

"Our favorite featureis the ceiling feature. We hadpreviously created an installation for the wall of our studio. Forthis we collected a weeks worth of dis-used paper and scrunched it upto form a bit of feature. We repeated this process for the ceiling ofthe caravan. The result turned out great – it was lightweight, funand creative. The effect gave us a more refined color pallet and afeature to brighten the interior."

The caravan includes a unique and hand-made paper ceiling installation
The caravan includes a unique and hand-made paper ceiling installation

Overall weight,mobility and security were the biggest concerns for the studio, as itwas necessary to keep the office and all its equipment in a securelocation overnight. Therefore the team decided to outfit thecaravan with lightweight and portable furniture, allowing them toeasily pack down and tow the caravan to a secure location after workeach night.

"Everything thatwent into the caravan went through a bit of a screening process. Our desks in the office, althoughlovely, were far too heavy to tow and set up each day. We insteadpartnered with Refold, who have developed these fantastic cardboarddesks which solved so many of our problems we had come up against.They were light and flexible – we could take them outside during theday, move them around and then pack them down at the end of eachday."

The idea to create a mobile office space on wheels came to the team of architects and designers after enjoying a long Southern Hemisphere summer
The idea to create a mobile office space on wheels came to the team of architects and designers after enjoying a long Southern Hemisphere summer

While the Studio106team may have left behind many luxuries of its previous large urbanoffice space, the new tiny mobile space meant they could noweasily work on site and directly with their clients.

"Being on thesite opened up new insight into the site. We ended up chatting tolots of local users and gained real learnings into what they enjoyedabout the site or what they wanted to see change."

"Small spaces area great challenge and we love this" add Gosling and Cunliffe."We work on many 70s town house alternations, which are smallspaces on often tight sites. As we did with the caravan we seek tosolve challenges that are associated with small, tight spaces withpoetic solutions. Solutions that go beyond meeting functionalrequirements and add a touch of fun or beauty to them. We think thereis often a danger that people fall into when renovation or designinga small space, in that they provide a functional solution. With thecaravan we wanted to tick off all the functional requirements whilstalso creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere."

The "Gone Mobile"office experience has given Studio106 great insight into what itmeans to live and work in small spaces and the added bonus of beingable to engage with the local community andbusinesses. The architectural studio plans to continue itsexploration and development of small, creative and mobile conepts,including participating in Auckland's PARK{ing} day later thisyear.

Source: Studio106 Architects

1 comment
LaurentGoffinonScapin
Very inspiring article. What brand is this caravan an how long is it? I am looking to convert a vintage caravan into an office space and would like to ensure enough space. thanks
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.