Vipp, well known for its classic accessories, has designed a shelter unlike any we have ever seen before. In the hands of the Danish design expert, this is a modern escape, powerful in its simplicity yet packed with exquisitely-conceived details
In Skåne, located in the south of Sweden, about two hours from Copenhagen by car, a 55 sq-m steel object emerges in a rugged landscape framed by naked trees and a silent lake mirrored in the skyframe window façade. This is the Vipp shelter, as solid as a rock in sharp contrast to its surroundings. Yet, with its steel frame embracing large glass surfaces (skyframes), the rock is also transparent, transforming into a shell projecting the landscape into the interior. The landscape is deliberately framed, the predominant element of the interior space.
A shelter in its original sense has connotations of basic living, serving a merely functional purpose and attending to our primal need of having a roof over our heads. The starting point of the Vipp shelter goes back to basics: back to nature with basic functions defining a dense, compact space, yet wrapped in the Vipp DNA with a clear aesthetic coherence and use of solid materials.
"The objective was not to make a house or a mobile home," explains Vipp chief designer Morten Bo Jensen. "Vipp is rooted in the manufacture of industrial objects, so the term 'shelter' is a typology that allows us to define this hybrid as a spacious, functionally generic, livable object."
According to Jensen, the biggest difference between this getaway compared to anything else on the market is the fact that he is not an architect. The shelter is conceived more like a product than a piece of architecture that melds seamlessly with its surrounding. "We didn't start with a piece of land on which we customised a house taking into consideration the natural surroundings," he says.
"There is plenty of amazing architecture out there, but we wanted to conceive something different — an escape in the form of an object designed down to last detail, where the only choice left to the customer is where to put it."
This approach — downscaling a house or a pavilion to a product — has given birth to the Vipp shelter, and what Vipp encourages us to do with this modern escape is to live within the frame of a product. As to where the inspiration comes from, Jensen says: "Large volume objects like a plane or a ferry are a clear reference in the design. Like these products, the shelter is a voluminous, transportable, complex design construction."
This is a preview of the "Taking Shelter” article from the July 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.
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