Saturday, April 21, 2012

Freefloating or Floating EcoLodge or Floating Suite

As some of my readers know, I did my architectural thesis on factory produced relocatable modular housing and forty years later I'm still trying to get it built.

I mention this since Thursday afternoon I travelled across the Netherlands to attend the official media launch of a project that was another student's graduation thesis. However, he didn't need to wait forty plus years to make it happen. He got his thesis built by the age of 27!

The project is a floating cabin or lodge or still does not yet have a name, and it is the brainchild of a Dutch designer named Marijn Beije. What is quite remarkable is that Marijn had not seen the project in the flesh until Thursday's launch since he is now based in Shanghai as the Creative Director for Danish designer Jacob Jensen (who is most famous for his work for Bang & Olufsen.)The concept is quite intriguing...a very small, compact floating cabin that can be set up in a variety of settings, such as a nature reserve. There is no has to be towed to its berth, but it is quite nicely appointed. The model we saw is still a prototype and I think it needs a few more features...such as a shower, and more built-in storage spaces. But hey, the guy is only 27!Rather than tell you much more about the project, you can read about it in the designer's own words, as set out in a recent article in Green Life, India's First Mainstream Green Lifestyle Magazine. (Yes, the world is truly flat!) or here

The project has been described in a number of other international magazines (including one in Hebrew) which is odd since the launch I attended was the first official media event. However, as Marijn pointed out to me, if you look carefully, you'll note that the structure in magazine photos looks a bit different than in the photos I took. That is because all the illustrations in various magazines are simply photos of a small mock-up model!

Not only does this guy have some great design sense, he has a lot of chutzpah too. Indeed, he's known as 'the rooster', no doubt for his quiet but cocky gait and demeanor. He's a very charming guy and I suspect he has a great future ahead of him.Following the launch we all headed over to a delightful historic restaurant/bar for champagne reception, attended by the media, and Marijn's business partners, friends and family. It was all very nicely done.I could not help but admire Marijn's watch. Of course it was a Jensen design and he no doubt played a part in its design!By the way, the suggested price for the lodge is 38,000 euros. Perhaps some Canadian manufacturer would like to partner with him and manufacture it here. I'd like to buy one and berth it across the street. Having seen it, I am sure others would like to buy one too.

If anyone would like to explore a partnership arrangement on this, or any other Dutch designer or product manufacturer, just contact Johannes Vervloed, the Dutch Consul General in Vancouver. He can be reached at


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