PHOTOS Peortree INTERVIEW Michaela Stehr CLIENT Dwarsberg Trout Hideaway
Local flat-pack furniture brand SPAAS has added easy-to-erect living “pods” to its repertoire. We talk to co-owner Dean Westmore about this innovative housing option.
What makes this type of home different from regular buildings?
These custom homes are made from lightweight steel (LWS), which has many efficiencies: it’s accurate, square, environmentally friendly and extremely strong. The components are precision manufactured and assembled to tight tolerances using advanced techniques. Computer-aided design, computer-controlled manufacturing and advanced engineering ensure that the customer gets the plans he or she wants, and that installation is quick and easy. The idea is to have a light footprint and minimal impact on the environment, and to be completely off the grid. We use a matte-black exterior that blends into the environment like a shadow, while our soft, warm interiors are inviting and cosy.
What is the process of getting one built?
We work closely with our clients, who tend to be as excited about the project as we are. After a briefing, we work on a base layout, with options. The only problem we have is that there are so many options to choose from: layouts, materials, finishes; whether the overall shape will be a modern Swedish barn or a Danish box… When the base pack is finalised, we cost. We then work closely with engineers, architects and any other relevant professionals. Once construction begins, the build itself is quick – between two and four months.
How do you tailor the experience of building a pod to suit your client?
Our responsibility is not just to design, but also to manufacture and construct. The most important part of the process is the consumer journey – the experience they have during the design process and (unlike traditional building) the experience they have during the build, as well as how they interact with the final product. Where do they put the keys when they arrive home? Where does their laptop bag go? Where is a good place to drink morning coffee, read or work quietly? The user experience is the most important factor.
For more information, visit spaas.co.za.