Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Airstream Photos You've Been Waiting For!

Our Airstream adventure began one year ago when we received the phone call from Austin, Texas, asking if we'd be interested in the project. The real fun began 6 months later with an unforgettable roadtrip to Las Vegas, New Mexico, to pick up the trailer: A 1968 Airstream Ambassador Twin.

The project was a big endeavor, beginning with a crash course in Airstream Culture and History. Throughout the construction, we met many fun, interesting and enthusiastic people who stopped by out of curiosity, or to offer advice (some of it useful!). We gave a lot of ourselves to the project, but the opportunity to design and build such an exotic piece was a gift in itself.

Please enjoy these photos and descriptions of some of our favorite features.

In Josh's continual attempt to resemble a luxurious space capsule, He created this semi-oval pocket door with the large plexi-glass window. It separates the living/office area from the bathroom while still allowing valuable light to enter.

All of the Airstream's walnut cabinetry and furniture, including these rounded cabinet doors, were built in our Berkeley shop. We designed integrated door pulls for a sleek look, and to limit injuries in this compact space.

One of the few requests our client had, was to swap out the original built-in sofa with something nice and new. An inherent challenge of working in a space with rounded corners is that everything needs to be custom. Most conventional futon beds require side or rear access for set-up, but with our layout that wasn't an option. Josh's solution -- automated, cantilevered bed, powered by a modified garage door motor, and wired to the original Airstream Control Panel! The result is surprisingly smooth and quiet.

Interior paint scheme, detail (no V.O.C. paint throughout.)
New Carrier Air Conditioning unit.

One of the design challenges was to make use of the wheel wells. We built cabinets on both sides, which include a pantry and flat-file storage. These built-ins also act as seating areas (a chair on one side, a bench on the other.) Because of the wheel-well depth, the bottom drawers are shallow -- perfect for storing anything from spice jars to paint brushes.

The desk area near the kitchen appliances contains a built-in laptop or iPod input, and offers plenty of room to spread out books, paper, and even a portable microscope, should your journey call for that.

What's that under the globe? It's the Airstream Control Panel (wired to the automated futon!)
Although the Control Panel is original to the Airstream, it was rewired and relocated.

Party ready, the lower section of the wardrobe cabinet houses a Sony sound system and JBL 8" powered sub, part of the great sounding JBL 5.1 speaker system mounted throughout.

The built-in globe is one of our favorite parts. After having the original idea, Josh began the search for the perfect globe. We narrowed it down to a certain brand, size, and era. After several eBay and Flea Market finds, we came across this one, with it's unusual metallic blue water, and limited color scheme. The red arrow and miniature Airstream (a little hard to see in this photo) remain stationary while the globe spins. Finally, we swapped out the original brown receptacle for this "high tech" space station orange one.

Built-in storage below the futon, and behind.

Bookshelf storage, accessible when the futon is down.

Pocket door, open.
When rebuilding the wall, Josh managed to make the the upper half of the opening 4" wider than the original, creating a more ergonomic, and generally cooler shape, All of the wood in the bathroom is maple, as is the other side of the pocket door.

An exit sign. Just in case.

The molded bathroom components and countertop are original to the Airstream, and refinished with durable boat paint. All wood, doors, and lighting are new.

Airstream-inspired pillows! I made these space themed pillows as a little token of our Airstream adventure (they have little rockets, and "5,4,3,2,1 Blast Off!" on them). We received such a positive response to this piece of Space-Travel-fantastic, we've decided to make more -- look for them soon in our Shop!

This overhead cabinet is one of the few original components that remained completely untouched, and dictated our use of Walnut throughout. It originally housed the Airstream's Motorola stereo system, and now conceals 2 JBL speakers.

Fully functional bathroom, including a shower and kid-sized tub.

Convection Oven, Refrigerator and Freezer, and shot of the "Tommorowland" inspired paint-scheme.

New halogen lighting throughout, Maple veneer flooring, and a long happy view of the interior. Really, don't you just want to jump inside this photo and play away the day?

This concludes today's tour of the Able + Baker custom Airstream.

We hope you enjoyed yourself immensely...

Special thanks to:
Vicente Aello
Heartwood Woodworking Cooperative
Mel & Angie Dagovitz, generous owners of the Kawneer (Sawtooth) Building
Judy, our gracious host and Airstream Project enthusiast
All Star Garage Door
(if you live in Southern California and need a garage door, call them!)
Chris Giffen
Kevin and Patrick for their fine photographic work

No comments:

Post a Comment