This Minimalist, Circular Prefab Takes Glamping to the Next Level

By Lucy Wang / Published by Dwell
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The LumiPod offers an outdoor experience with the comfort of a high-end hotel room.

French window manufacturer Lumicene just unveiled the first built images of the LumiPod, a prefab dwelling with a curved glass window that slides open to blur the lines between indoors and out.

"LumiPod has been designed as a premium hotel room," says Lumicene Managing Director Clément Salvaire. "It is very minimalist; we wanted to design something that would fit very well in the landscape. We designed and manufactured LumiPod as a finished product—almost like a piece of furniture and not a traditional building."

One of the first LumiPods was completed in the French Alps at 1,000 meters above sea level in the heart of a pine-and-oak forest.

Kevin Dolmaire

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The prefab’s windows include double-glazed panels and aluminum frames with thermal breaks. Customers can also select triple glazing as well.

Kevin Dolmaire

The curved glass panels slide completely open and pocket into the sides of the structure to create a seamless indoor/outdoor living experience. The ceiling is covered with a merino wool felt fabric.

Kevin Dolmaire

Launched in May 2019, the LumiPod is Lumicene’s third prefab design following the LumiShell and LumiBar—both modular projects built around the company’s patented curved window developed in partnership with manufacturer Saint Gobain.

Unlike its predecessors, which were created in collaboration with French architects, the 194-square-foot LumiPod was designed in-house as a single-room prefab that’s easy to manufacture and transport.

The LumiPod is equipped with Rockwool insulation, exterior rain sheeting, and a moisture protection film. A Toshiba reversible air conditioning system is installed by default for heating and cooling.

Kevin Dolmaire

The minimalist bedroom comprises two half-circle modules prefabricated in Lumicene’s Lyon factory, and it can be assembled on-site atop four screw piles or four concrete blocks in just two days with minimal environmental impact.

The rear module contains all of the technical equipment, while the front module, which includes the Lumicene window, is directly bolted onto the rear module on-site.

Built of steel, the LumiPod structure can be set on screw piles for minimal site impact.

Kevin Dolmaire

The standard LumiPod is clad in charred Douglas fir siding inspired by the traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban method of wood preservation. Clients can also choose from a variety of cladding options.

Kevin Dolmaire

The oak-lined interior follows the standards of high-end hotel rooms with luxury finishes and fixtures from brands such as Vescom, Mosa, and Louis Poulsen. Customers also have the option of customizing their LumiPod with a variety of finish, fixture, and appliance options. A minimalist design approach puts the focus on the outdoor landscape, framed by full-height sliding glass panels.

Blackout curtains installed along a curved rod can cover the entire glass window to provide privacy and block light.

Kevin Dolmaire

The Lumicene glass panels, which double as the entry, are secured with two locks at each end.

Kevin Dolmaire

"Closed, LumiPod is a comfortable and protective cocoon offering a panoramic view," says Salvaire. "In a single gesture, you slide the glass panels open to switch from being inside to being outside."

A view from the LumiPod bed in the French Alps.

Kevin Dolmaire

Lumicene recently expanded their LumiPod line to three sizes with curved windows that measure five, six, and seven meters in diameter—the LumiPod 5, LumiPod 6 and LumiPod 7.

The new LumiPod 6 is a larger, 280-square-foot version of the original LumiPod 5 with a single bedroom and ensuite bathroom. In contrast, the new family-oriented LumiPod 7 offers two bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and a living room/kitchen area within 388 square feet.

In the Lumipod 5 and Lumipod 6, the elevated bed is positioned for panoramic views of the outdoors, and it’s set into a niche within the built-in cabinetry.

Kevin Dolmaire

All LumiPods come with integrated storage. The full-height cabinetry is built from natural oak timber veneer with a matte finish.

Kevin Dolmaire

A turnkey LumiPod 5 currently costs 85,000 Euros (approximately $95,000), and the price does not include transport and installation, which are site-dependent. The current version of the LumiPod must be connected to electricity, water, and wastewater networks.

The bathroom is fitted with a dual-flush toilet, shower, and sink. Ceramic mosaic tiles line the walls and floor.

Kevin Dolmaire

LumiPods feature Axor fixtures in a chrome steel finish by default, although other options are available.

Kevin Dolmaire

Five LumiPods have been installed to date across Europe with more anticipated in the coming weeks. The firm is currently working with hoteliers as well.

The building’s dark wooden exterior and low profile helps it blend into its surroundings.

Kevin Dolmaire

LumiPods are available across Europe. Lumicene plans to start manufacturing in the U.S. later this year with delivery of the first units expected in early 2021.  

Axon diagram of the LumiPod 5.

Plan of the 18-square-meter LumiPod 5 with a 14-square-meter bedroom and 4-square-meter en suite.

Plan of the 26-square-meter LumiPod 6 with a 20-square-meter bedroom and 6-square-meter en suite.

Plan of the 36-square-meter LumiPod 7 with two bedrooms, an ensuite bathroom, and a living room/kitchen area.

Related Reading:

These Rainforest Pods in Thailand Are Straight Out of a Fantasy 

Colorful Glamping Pods Dot a Forest in South Korea

Project Credits:

Architect of Record/Builder: Lumicene

Structural Engineer: Inexom

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