1 year ago
The Airstream Photos You’ve Been Waiting For!
(NOTE: We know many of you have already seen these photos. We originally posted this on Feb.20, 2010 — when we moved our blog to Tumblr in January 2012, this post found it’s way back to the top!)
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?
Special thanks to: Vicente Aello Heartwood Woodworking CooperativeMel & 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 GiffenKevin and Patrick for their fine photographic work
1 year ago
Ch-Check-Check it out!
Vince’s ol’ Airstream get’s us a lot of press!
Here’s a link to the latest in the LA Times:
3 years ago
This week on HOW ITS MADE: Airstream Kitchens
Our Airstream client wanted a minimal place to prepare food. We gave him a small convection oven (microwaves just don’t make good food) a fridge with separate freezer, and one of those water boiling electric teapots.
In the following photos, the bulk of the cabinetry is complete, so it’s mostly just pictures of us applying the Formica tops.
I doubled up layers of ply, to get a nice 1-1/2” countertop thickness. I created the curves using different types of moulding. The white part is a pretty standard door casing. Clever.
Josh Ganshorn and Tom Brown. A winning team. In this photo, Josh is trying to burn Toms hand.
I don’t know if this looks easy or not, but It’s really a pain bending this stuff and making it stick correctly.
The final touch, the standard plastic trailer molding from Vintage Trailer Supply
The finished bench, ready to install. What some people don’t realize is that beyond the obvious benefits of a bench, it’s really just a way to hide the wheel wells. Hence, the shallow depth in the lower portion. I tried to make the most out of every square inch, so I created the small but deep cubbies for books and sketch pads. The owner is an artist, after all.
The morning after drill. Tom and Josh load in the pieces. I think Andrew Benson is around here somewhere.
….And Voila. Ready for appliances. Notice the small opening where the fridge goes (on the right). It’s the service access for the hot water heater.
The semi-symmetrical layout turned out pretty good. All these curves are sexy (and a pain-in-the-ass to create).
3 years ago
Pocket Door in the Making
I just saw the most recent issue of Sunset magazine and found someone else that converted an Airstream into an office, so it seemed like an appropriate time to revisit our own recent Airstream project.
After we finished our project, we got a chance to show it a couple of times, and one of the most common questions about the interior was, “Where did you get all of these cabinets, and how did you get it to fit so well?”, or “So what part did you do? Did you just find a way to move around the interior and make it fit?”
The simple answer is that we custom fabricated nearly the entire interior (excluding the bathroom sink and tub), and as proof, we thot we would show a few samples of the work in progress, beginning with the interior pocket door.
Everything starts with a template. For this unusual shape, I sacrificed 2 sheets of cheap luan ply.
This place is so dusty.
The door gets glued up.
This is a “Go-bar” table. Kind of an old-fashioned way to keep something flat.
A test fitting. Ball bearing rollers (Cheap hardware drives me nuts). Smooove.
The finished installation. This sides all Walnut.
My favorite part is these dope curves on the door jamb. The original door was the width of the bottom half. It couldn’t be any wider at the bottom because of the bathroom countertop and tub, as you can kind-of see in this photo. There were also other obstructions which I dealt with cleverly. The result is a 4” wider opening in the top half, which makes it sort-of ergonomic for those of us with arms.
On the lavatory side, the door is maple.
Now that it’s gone, and I don’t get to see it any more, I kinda forget how bad-ass our work is.
3 years ago
Our Airstream Project on Casa Sugar
3 years ago
Airstream on Arc Hop
We just want to extend a quick Thanks to arc hop for their coverage of our Airstream Project. They helped make our recent Open House a success.
We’ve been busy with new projects, but will post more Airstream photos soon. Thanks to everyone for their interest and excitement regarding the Airstream remodel.
3 years ago
We have successfully transported the Airstream from Berkeley to Fresno!
Next stop, Art Hop
on Thursday (stay tuned for details.)
While Josh is getting its new home-site ready, I thought I’d post a couple pictures of its final moments in Berkeley…
3 years ago
Airstream Sneak Peek!
Join us this weekend for a sneak peek of our Airstream Project!
It’s not quite finished, but we’re almost
there and want to share…
We don’t want to post photos yet because we want you to be surprised!Where:
Berkeley, CA. Dwight and 8th St., corner parking lot
(the Airstream is parked at the corner lot of the Sawtooth Building)When:
Sunday, Dec. 13: 11am - 6pm
3 years ago
Sorry I’m late…
On my way to work. Not sure what time it is. Whenever the sun comes up, I guess. I hear about snow in some parts of the country…
Last Sunday, instead of blogging, I went to breakfast with my old friend Chris, his Wife Sylvia, and their son Theo, which may or may not be short for Theodore. Leaving the restaurant, we passed by this little yellow schoolhouse in Albany where I saw an old green planter box, which I happened to build. Prior to this it sat in our backyard for a couple of years.
The beautiful Jen Zahigian.
I met Chris in 1984. I met Theo more recently.
Of course, I couldn’t write in my digital journal without mentioning the Airstream. This is the template for the bathroom wall. That’s John Curl
in the background.
Finally, the drive back to The City at the end of the day.
…and the next day, back at the Airstream.