Situated along a mountainous hiking route in France, this cylindrical structure is one of many in the region, containing sleeping quarters for travelers on multiple-day treks along the scenic path. Designed by outdoors-focused company Zebra3/Buy-Selif, the shelter was commissioned by the local government to provide clean, contemporary, stable lodgings for hardcore hikers. On the outside, it resembles a cross between an imagined spaceship design of the Fifties and part of a fallen giant Redwood, formed from wood and dotted with tough rubber tracks. Inside, the movable building’s indents become usable divisions of space, enclosing different bed and storage areas. In both realms, the design of the tube is a unique and friendly touch of humanity in the wilderness, a more sturdy sleeping quarters than a traditional tent.
The overall shape of the temporary quarters is a varied and smooth cylinder, almost reminiscent of a mechanical part in an engine. This appearance is balanced by its wood finish and the inclusion of dark, textured rubber patterns that can be used to roll the dwelling from place to place.
Small windows on each side and end of the structure let in enough light during the day to see what you’re doing without permitting glaring amounts of moonlight at night.
For such a small cylinder, the interior group sleeping quarters are surprisingly spacious, fitting nine full-size beds at two heights. The single-use nature of this compact tube contributes to its interior openness, since no utilities or recreational spaces are required.
The semicircular wall protrusions on the inside of the pod help to divide up the space, giving it more definition than a simple long tube filled with beds. In addition, the wood nubs frame desk and storage spaces at one end of the installation.
Zebra3 / Buy-Selif