Architect Matthew Hofmann did such a remarkable job renovating a 1978 Airstream trailer into a home and office for himself and his girlfriend, it has led to a bustling business doing the same for others. In early 2011, Hofmann transformed a 25-foot Tradewind in dire need of TLC into an airy, compact, dual-purpose mobile living space.
Based in Santa Barbara, the sustainability-minded architect wanted to downsize from a large house, paring down his belongings and opening the door to new opportunities for travel. Upon purchasing the Airstream, Hofmann ripped out the interiors and replaced them with recycled, locally-produced and eco-friendly materials in bright white and soothing blues and grays.
The result manages to fit all that the couple needs into 150 square feet of live/work space including a bathroom, kitchen, and a dining/work table that unfolds into a bed. Clever space-saving tricks like sliding pantries and hidden storage ensure that each possession has its place.
Since completing (and ultimately selling) this one-of-a-kind trailer, Hofmann opened ‘AirstreamPlanet’, his vintage Airstream design and renovation company. He has since renovated eight silver Airstream travel trailers for clients around the world.
From Living Vehicle:
“After three years of working as an Architect at a traditional firm, Matthew realized that designing, and potentially living in a traditional home was not for him. ‘By 2009 I knew I was done designing high-end Santa Barbara villas,’ he said reflecting back on the early days as a 26-year-old Architect. ‘As beautiful as these traditional spaces are, they just didn’t inspire me. I believed that there must be a more sustainable way to live… as my grandfather used to say, Less but better.'”
“Without a preconceived notion of the kind of that home he wanted to live in, or the kinds of spaces he that wanted to design as a career, Matthew set out to pursue a lifestyle that would give him the freedom to be himself. ‘Living well was at the core of this lifestyle choice,’ he explained. ‘It was simply saying, ‘Yes…’ to a lifestyle that truly felt right.'”
“This intentional decision led the young architect to his first vintage Airstream project, which he designed, renovated and lived in for over a year on a vacant lot in the hills of Santa Barbara. It didn’t take long before people in the community began to take interest in his story and Matthew soon realized that he wasn’t alone in his vision for a better way of living. Inspired by this experience and motivated to share his lifestyle, he created Hofmann Architecture– the first licensed Architecture firm to specialize in mobile space design.”