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Celebrating British Coachbuilders

There is currently an obsession with how autonomous driving might effect the interior design of the car and as a confessed addict of the latest concept car design reviews on the net (as they are often pieces of art on four wheels!) we take a look at some models of great British Coachbuilding and ask why restrict this indulgence of the senses to motoring…

Take for example Rolls Royce’s new concept, the Vision Next 100

It is essentially a small luxurious lounge that goes from A to B in the upmost refinement. Does this mean that the edges between Architecture and Automobile Design might be blurred some what? We are already seeing the increased popularity of parametric Architecture. With the cost of Automated Robotic arms coming down in price and technological advancements with three dimensional printed parts it looks as though more sculptural dwellings could be hitting our streets shortly.

Britain was once the champion of coach building and panel design – who doesn’t like the beautiful lines of the E-type Jag for example. I used to design car showrooms which touched on the Architecture having a dialogue with the Brand it was representing. In recent years I have become intrigued with Aston Martin’s dalliance with applying their strong brand to the small cheap run around of the Toyota IQ.

Aston has also dabbled with designing speed boats with some pretty stunning results – quite clearly British car manufacturers do not have to stick to only producing cars.

Alternatively we now see tech companies such as Google trying to produce cars with their Waymo, rumour has it that Apple might also launch an autonomous car soon.

Other car brands are also straying from what they are best known for. Bentley has recently produced a sumptuous off-road vehicle for presumbly some luxury remote holiday break.

This led Envelope Architects taking my love of car design and applying it to a high-end pod that could be sited in remote beauty spots for the rather plush adventurer to enjoy! Our design is a sculptural celebration of the coach building industry. We have added the technology that will permit the dwelling to go off-grid and light enough to helicopter it into the most remote place on the planet. Our aim is to pen the Range Rover of compact escapism, with our pod being placed on a rock face cradle or an elevated blade in areas prone to flooding or even placed on a floating disc in a marina. Now the super rich have always been drawn to super-yachts or ocean going palaces. If Aston Martin can make a city car, then perhaps a small pavilion sized luxury floating residence might be acceptable to the wealthier of us.

This thought inspired us to pen some early studies of a variety of house boats. To enable the British luxury boat market to avoid a crash as of 2008, perhaps they could re-direct their attention to producing exquisite house boats? The norm is that house boats are fairly boxy, but I cant see why the approach from the car and yacht industry cannot change this and that is a focus for us at Envelope Architects.

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