Inspired by Chinese flying lanterns the Nomad Experience is a new model of lifestyle vacation, the tent hotel is completely mobile effortlessly moving through the landscape.

The Nomad Experience was awarded the Lifestyle Legend Design Award by AIM in July 2014.

The Nomad Experience was a collaborative competition entry between the part 1 graduates at RHWL to The Legend of Tent competition hosted by Architects in Mission.

The concepts of both tents and hotels contrast quite significantly. The hotel is an immobile, tectonic building while the tent is a lightweight, portable structure developed over centuries of nomadism.

Our concept takes an imaginative approach to the balance of the Tent Hotel by addressing the four aspects of the brief: Mobility; Culture; Sustainability and Professionalism.

The mantra of mobility, inspired by the imagery of the Chinese flying lantern, has been core to our concept since before we began designing.

We are creating a “new model of lifestyle vacation” around the idea of geocaching: a real life recreational treasure hunt played by millions of people worldwide; where people search for locations using a GPS device.

These ideas are the conceptual foundation of our tent hotel, a floating infrastructure which integrates into the local community and culture but leaves no footprint when it moves on.

The infrastructure has two elements: the cores and the sleeping pods. The pods have the structure, function and intimacy of the tent and the cores provide the services, function and professionalism of the hotel.

The mobility and zero physical impact of the concept is achieved by the entire infrastructure floating. This was a significant practical, technical and scientific challenge. Our solution is to wrap the both the core and pods in an ETFE cushion filled with helium and therefore the form of the pods has evolved from the quantity of helium that is required to provide lift.

The pods can be deflated, deconstructed and packed away, much like a tent, to be stored within the cores which serve a dual purpose as the means of transportation between sites.

The helium cushions of the core provide sufficient lift to keep the core floating during normal operation but for transportation the lift is supplemented by the air and helium within the core being heated similar to the theory of a hot air balloon. The cores are then carried through the sky to the next site by air currents.

At the centre of core is the flame that provides the hot air, but when not travelling this flame is reduced and has an alternate purpose: it is the symbolic campfire for the core; the space around which the visitors gather.

Three cores serve the 24 sleeping pods, each include toilet and shower facilities but each also has a distinct purpose: the first is a reception/lobby, the second is the restaurant and the third is a multifunctional space.

Lantern is a work in progress. Collaborative entry to The Legend of Tent competition between the part 1 placement graduates at RHWL.

The movable nature of our design allows it to travel globally in a variety of terrains. In addition to creating a professional experience irrespective of location we have ensured that our design has no impact on the landscape and benefits the local community by sourcing local food to serve within the restaurant.

Our design effectively creates a unique experience our focus on mobility, awareness of culture and the environment has led to a design that retains not only the professionalism of a hotel but also the practicality of a tent.

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