The Trailerwrap project by Michael Hughs is one of those things we see and ask ourselves why we did not think of it first. After all, trailers are ubiquitous but have an equally pervasive poor reputation. Why not take that building type and reinvent it entirely, wrap it to create something modern, appealing and livable but still portable and based on an established residential building type.
Mobile homes are increasingly a focus of fascination for architects and designers who are trying to figure out ways to create new residences in an ultra-portable world. Many, however, have jumped forward entirely and forgotten that models for these types of homes already exist. So what does one do with a prevalent existing type of building that is, by and large, ignored and disliked by society?
There are many benefits to using typical trailers: many of them already exist which saves on materials and other up-front costs and there are spaces for them virtually everywhere so more similarly sized units can be built or adapted, for starters. The degree of each remodel will depend upon the state it is in – like all good architectural adaptive reuse solutions, working with conditions at hand is critical.
There exists, most importantly, a housing niche for these kinds of structures – somewhere between condos and stand-alone houses. When they started to salvage the example seen above its wood was rotting, siding was pitted and the roof leaked. The results of their radical remodel are extremely impressive, to say the least – it retains the essential dimensions and necessary portability but almost no visual characteristics of its original form.