Text by Omer Ali
It’s known for the classic pedal bin, which became a staple of Danish clinics in the latter part of the last century. But now Danish company Vipp has revealed a stylish, prefabricated retreat that can be installed anywhere in the countryside.
Large, sliding glass doors in the Vipp Shelter allow unrivalled access to the landscape, while underfloor heating keeps you warm. Built to handle heavy snow, it comes packed with everything you need for a weekend getaway – down to 12 drinking glasses, toothbrush holder, daybed and much more, all made by Vipp.
This vision came to Vipp’s CEO Kasper Egelund five years ago, when he was working for the company in New York. “I grew tired of the noise and wanted to get out to nature,” he says. “I wanted the ultimate retreat but couldn’t find it, so I thought we could do our own take on it.”
Until recently Vipp was best known for its pedal bin, developed by Kasper’s grandfather Holger in 1939 for Holger’s wife Marie’s hair salon. The bin has since been recognised as a design classic, but it was only under their daughter Jette, alongside her children Kasper and Sofie, that the company began to diversify into other kitchen and bathroom products.
Still, it must have come as a surprise when Kasper returned with his idea for this prefabricated retreat. “They know I’m crazy,” he says. “We approached it in the same way we tackle a toilet brush or kitchen product, it’s a solution to a problem. You’re going to spend a weekend in the woods, what do you need?”
It took Vipp’s in-house designer Morten Bo Jensen and engineers three years to come up with their 55m2, steel-framed Shelter. It costs €485,000 (NOK4.2m), takes up to six months to deliver but can be installed in three to five days – and it’s at the forefront of the trend towards easily assembled places to stay (see sidebar). The only decision you need to make is where to put it (you’ll need access to utilities, such as water and electricity).
The first Vipp Shelter was put up in southern Sweden earlier this year – you can arrange a visit through Vipp if you’re interested in buying one – and there’s already been an order for one outside New York, appropriately enough.
“It’s wonderful, exactly what I dreamt about,” says Kasper of the finished retreat, though there are no plans to extend the range. “We only make one thing in each category: our philosophy is to put all our energy and love into one perfect product, so let’s see what the future brings. If you can dream it, you can do it – but I don’t think we’ll make planes.”
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