Real Estate

This Seoul-based retreat takes ‘glamping’ to a whole new level

Combine “glamorous” and “camping” and you get “glamping.” It’s a global movement in providing accommodations that are more refined than tents but (usually) stop short of a cabin. In Canada, glamping has caught on in locations like Georgian Bay Islands National Park and an array of provincial parks, where soft-sided or -roofed structures, including yurts, provide getaway opportunities for people looking for something more comfortable than a ground sheet but not as refined as a cottage. Private businesses have gotten into the market, too. For cottagers and property owners, glamping concepts may be the perfect solution for secondary buildings, like guest accommodations, and even for a main accommodation where there are local restrictions on what can be built.

One of the most interesting (and aesthetically pleasing) glamping concepts is in South Korea. A private retreat about 80 kilometres from Seoul, called Glamping on the Rock, is a showcase for the innovative designs of Seoul’s ArchiWorkshop.

ArchiWorkshop came up with two designs, Stacking Doughnut (which was inspired by pebble stones), and Modular Flow, which was designed for extendable structures using modular floor panels. The designers conceived of them as four-season accommodations suited to a variety of environments, including seasides, deserts, mountains, creeks, forests, and cities. They also wanted them to be visually pleasing, by night as well as by day.

South Korea gets winters like Canada gets winters, so the designs have to be weatherproof. The exterior fabrics are made in a double layer, with pieces cut with a computer-driven cutter and welded on the seams to be watertight. The interiors are minimalist, but include a toilet booth and wall art by a young Korean artist. For maximum space efficiency, ArchiWorkshop also designed the folding furniture, which does double-duty as a sofa by day and a bed by night.

ArchiWorkshop says that its designs have been adopted by projects outside South Korea. Maybe someone in Canada feels a need for a Stacking Doughnut in their life where they can enjoy a Double Double?


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