Camping doesn’t always involve mud and dirt – glamping is the way to go. And Yann Follain, founder and head of design of Singapore design practice WY-TO, has the ultimate luxury tent.

According to Follain, the design is “a luxury pod in the form of glamping for the weekends or longer breaks, with sustainable elements incorporated”. The idea is to create a space “where nature meets luxurious sustainability”.

While away from home, the user’s comfort is guaranteed. The design allows them “to experience the normal comfort of their daily urban living while being in the wild”, Follain explains.

Similar to a portable cabin on wheels, Follain’s pod has all the essential elements that a household needs. Inside the pod’s core – made of renewable wood composite panels – there is a sleeping area with a washroom and a kitchen.

Inspired by the modular and scalable nature of diamonds, the three-dimensional pod adopts the rigid structure of the luxurious gemstone and the ability to connect with other pods to form a bigger community.

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Also inspired by diamonds is the most innovative and important feature of the design – the double- layer of smart “skin” enclosing the core. Serving as a wall of protection, the smart “skin” features other eco-friendly functions to achieve the purpose of luxurious sustainability. There’s photovoltaic algae where photosynthesis occurs to produce energy for the core system. Not only does it help power the facilities, it also allows the energy produced to be stored for later use.

Plants can also be grown on the smart “skin”. There are pockets with the bacteria Rhizobium which supports indoor plant cultivation without the use of soil. The vertical garden then provides an opportunity for farm-to-table cooking. The plants also purify the air and provide shading for the interior.

Besides the innovative green features, the smart “skin” comes with a range of sustainable systems, including a natural ventilation mechanism, hydrogel glazing panels, a rainwater collection system and a solar panel roof.

During the summer, the smart “skin” opens up for ventilation. Depending on the user’s need, the “skin” can be folded to expose the core and form a semi-outdoor environment. To maintain an optimal and comfortable indoor environment, hydrogel panels are used as the interior wall to prevent the indoor space from becoming too humid.

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Water supply comes from rainwater collected on the roof, which is slanted to optimise the process. The water is also retained in the smart “skin” and the liquid panels within the structure to circulate around the pod. The excellent thermal insulating nature of water helps keep the pod cool in summer time and traps heat during winter.

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Electricity is generated by the solar home system made by Ingenious Particles. The solar panel roof generates electricity to power various equipment with smart communication technologies and eco-efficiency.

“In a nutshell, the pod will not just be a glamping experience but at the same time self-sustainable, autonomous and eco-friendly,” Follain concludes. Take a step away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy nature by staying in this amazing pod.

Breakdown of Costs

SMART CORE CONSTRUCTION: HK$1.5 MILLION

SUSTAINABLE FACADE: HK$2 MILLION

SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS: HK$1 MILLION

MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS: HK$0.5 MILLION

TOTAL: HK$5 MILLION

Yann Follain is the founder and head of design of WY-TO’s Singapore branch and the co-founder of WY-TO Architects in Paris. The young architect has been recognised as one of Europe’s most promising emerging design talents in the Europe 40 under-40 programme in 2016. The programme is organised by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. Formerly an urban designer and leader of different architectural projects across the globe, Follain embraces multidisciplinary approaches with his diverse expertise in sustainable architecture, cultural curation and exhibition design. He helps the Singapore team grow with the philosophy that “design must serve a cause”, providing solutions to today’s urban challenges through smart design.