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Glamping: camping adds glamour

This vacation solution could become a new model for home living

To sleep surrounded by nature, without opting out of luxury accommodations, with all the comforts of a hotel. This is the core philosophy of “glamping”, a combination of glamour+camping: this is a new form of camping that is growing in popularity around the world. The latest projects to develop this concept include those by Atelier Chang, which has designed a new space featuring a restaurant, club house and 16 housing units for the SJCC Glamping Resort, just outside the South Korean city of Suncheon.

Like fuchsia, lime green or pastel blue “luminous pods“, the tents are scattered over a hillside covered in cypress trees about 300 kilometres south of Seoul on the southern coast, facing the bay.

© Kyungsub Shin

Each house is raised from the ground and rests on a wood structure, built to thermally insulate the interior spaces. For the same reason, the roof is made of a double layer of fabric, stretched over a curved steel frame, designed to resist the wind and possible snow load. These characteristics make each living unit available for year-round utilization, in an area where temperatures in winter fall to minus 15°C and in summer rise to 40°C. “The tents – explain the designers from Atelier Chang – are conceived for aspiring campers who want to be close, but not too close, to nature; they are supplied with running water and electricity, and you can even cook inside”.

They are in fact small 50 square-metre apartments, created for the target-Millenials, with all the essentials: two raised beds, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. “We believe that younger travellers – continue the architects – are prepared to accept smaller houses in exchange for larger gardens”.

© Kyungsub Shin

Not just spaces to live a few days a year. The goal is to introduce these units, which can last up to 50 years if the roof cover is replaced every ten years, into the real-estate market. “The mini-living lifestyle, state the designers, is something we should begin to take into consideration as a permanent lifestyle. It offers many advantages, in terms of health for example, because it reduces stress”.

Atelier Chang is not the first firm to design luxury campsites immersed in nature in South Korea. As early as 2014, the firm ArchiWorkshop created another space made of small extendable modules for the area of Gyeonggi. Shaped like donuts and worms, as the designers described them, they feature every creature comfort. And in 2016, the same firm built another camping area just a few kilometres from Seoul, with three different types of architecture: two furnished as bedrooms, ‘rock flower’ and ‘dynamic triangle’, and one serving as a kitchen, with tables and common areas in which to cook, eat and relax.


translation by Olga Barmine

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