Project Profile: California Dream, Compact Reality
Traveleze is a renovated 1961 vintage trailer that is part tiny home, off-the-grid retreat and window onto the environment. Designed by Oakland-based architects Cheng+Snyder, the trailer completely re-imagines the original cramped interior with its small windows and telephone-booth-style bathroom. The big design move: one complete wall opens up, making the main room a balcony on wheels. The client, Gregory Piche, a Bay Area engineer, wanted a design that retained all the original vintage details on the outside yet could function as a modern home and office on the inside. By allowing one entire wall to fold out, both goals were met. When the wall is open, it provides shade, storage, an eating surface and natural light so that activities can spill out into their surroundings. When closed, the wall functions as a sleeping bunk and storage unit. Storage cubes underneath the sleeping bunk double as seating that can be placed outside. A drop-down table extends the counter space and creates an eating nook.
Besides all of its unique features, Traveleze is equipped with modern appliances including a refrigerator, microwave, convection oven, stovetop, furnace and hot water heater – all of which run on electricity drawn from rooftop solar panels or a backup propane system. While most trailers typically have a small bathroom (including the original Traveleze), this bathroom uses the full width of the trailer underneath the curved façade and includes a walk-in shower. Stainless steel fixtures and hardware, dark walnut hardwood floors and white wall and cabinet finishes form a rustic and contemporary interior palette. And at only 112 square feet, the Traveleze sleeps three – a small footprint for a full-size family.
Contractor/Fabrication: Larry Hill, Retro Restoration