Last weekend saw the largest music event of the year, Electric Picnic 2015. Since it’s inaugural year in 2004, it has grown to become more than the musical acts on stage. Each year the fields of Stradbally, Co. Laois become a temporal settlement to tens of thousands of festival-goers. This musical encampment is also a showcase for the best in contemporary Irish design. EP2015 saw the introduction of Archipods in their Trailer Park, which brought glamping to a whole new level. Trailer Park is an ever-expanding mobiletropolis, an enclosure of miniature ‘homes’ which hosted these commissioned Archipods. The exhibition of eight custom-designed bespoke pods were designed by some of Ireland’s leading architects. By day these pavilions were open to the public; by night they became luxury homes to a select number of ticket holders, with each pod sleeping two people. An exercise in adventure and contemporary luxury they came equipped with beds, bedding, and a power source, with access to water and toilets.
FKL Architects designed a unit consisting of three forms, an enclosure for a bed, a portal with a door and a frame for storage wrapped in a taut semi-translucent skin. www.fklarchitects.com
Meme Architecture designed a pod based on colour, simple forms and methods of construction. The aim of the design was to use locally sourced materials to create something fun and joyful. A simple cube with overlapping coloured translucent panels which pulse with the music at the festival through the use of sound responsive LED lights. meme.ie
PAC Studio took an environmentally friendly approach to the brief, creating an adaptive lightweight structure comprised of hinged bamboo poles held in compression through a series of ropes in tension, wrapped with a taut canvas skin. Light floods through the canvas creating a ghostly effect against the bamboo and rope structure. They have a strong environmental ethos and take a sustainable approach to design. pacstudio.ie
Architectural Farm’s design (see photo above) utilises found materials such as pallets and garden trellis to create a series of spaces for sleeping and socialising. The design draws on the idea of a festival atmosphere to create a space for stories and conviviality. Privacy and retreat is provided within a bespoke textile enclosure created in collaboration with Irish textile designer Naoimh Prim. architecturalfarm.com
Ryan Kennihan Architects: This ‘tented room’ draws inspiration from Ottoman campaign tents – its simple structure belies a tactile and luxurious inner space. Ryan Kennihan has drawn on contacts with makers and suppliers across Ireland to create this space. The timber structure was assembled by specialist timber joiners, O’Malley Timber in Loughrea and the luxurious red textile is an archive design woven by Mourne Textiles in Co. Down. rwka.com
NOJI Architects and Elizabeth Clyne: Based on a fortified ‘Tower Room’ this design uses a perforated plywood arch to allow light to diffuse into the compact sleeping space. John Monahan from Noji and Elizabeth Clyne designed and pre-assembled the unit in Sligo and constructed their beautiful room on site in a day noji.ie.
Lucy Jones/Christophe Antipas: A wall defines a space that appears to be outside of the festival. Instead of just walking into a shelter, occupants step outside of the festival into a calm retreat. Lucy, Christophe and their young team have created a peaceful room-within-a-room with a translucent roof and walls which allow just a glimpse of activity beyond. lucyjones.ie
Ciara Murray Architects/Faolán Bashford: A private reflective space created by the play of light in a simple geometrical enclosure. Ciara and Faolan have created a simple timber clad cube with high level light illuminating the bedroom space. ciaramurrayarchitects.com