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The 10 Coolest Summer Camping Forts

Architizer's roundup of some of the more playful inhabitable installations for camping.

The Cave. Photos courtesy of Co. Design.


As rising temperatures seduce us out into the wilderness, a new playground for architecture is uncovered every summer. Abandoning the city for a change of pace, campers face the challenge of compressing their lives and homes into a tight and light form of public domesticity. With such a personal task at hand, it isn’t a surprise that not everyone is content with squeezing into a mass-produced box.

Through their temporal and adaptable nature, camping structures provide the perfect opportunity for architectural experimentation. Easy and speedy to construct, they not only let campers flex their DIY-muscles but also let them play the trendy game of nomad. Basically, camping is an excuse for adults to build really awesome forts.

Here's our roundup of some of the more playful inhabitable installations below:

Decagon Tent by Logos

Create your own tent-city and the need to go outside in the spatially-rich environment created by the modular Decagon Tent by Logos. Pivoting around a central pentagonal tent, additional modules (or even cars) can be infinitely linked together to accommodate all your camping whims.

Read our article here. Photos courtesy of Logos.

The Cave designed by Frackenpohl Poulheim for Heimplanet

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No more lugging around hunks of metal if you’re a planning on using The Cave tent designed by Frackenpohl Poulheim for Heimplanet. Requiring only air to assemble this tent, it remains surprisingly strong against the elements, using the patented Inflatable Diamond Grid (IDG) system.

More here. Photo courtesy of Co. Design.

Lawn House designed by altro_studio

If you fancy something a little less conspicuous (and less pricey) altro_studio designed the Lawn House, which not only looks like it would be an awesome fort for hobbits, but also costs only $3.60 per square foot to build. The turf that wraps around the simple structure camouflages you from neighboring campers and provides great insulation.

More info can be found in our previous article.

Blockhaus DY62 tent by Barreau&Charbonnet

More of an archi-tourist than an outdoorsy-type? No need to separate the two with the mobile Blockhaus DY62 tent by Barreau&Charbonnet that can attach to existing concrete structures and keep you closer to your architectural crushes.

Read more here. Photos courtesy of Barreau&Charbonenet.

LYHTY tent by Erkko Aarti

There is no hiding with Erkko Aarti‘s glowing LYHTY tent, which reads more as a lantern in the landscape rather than a shelter. Although originally intended for alleviating seasonal depression in places like the designer’s native Helsinki, this piece would surely shed some new light on camping too.

More about LYHTY in our archives. Photos courtesy of designmilk.

CristalBubble by Pierre Stephane Dumas via bitrebels

The home is not a house, after all, and the CristalBubble by Pierre Stephane Dumas provides all the comfort needed for a relaxing time away (electricity and plumbing not included). You also have the option of making this a more permanent residence with possible additions of a children’s room, an adjunct washroom, or perhaps a few opaque walls.

Drop by our more comprehensive post on these bubbles.

Y-BIO by Alix Shelest in Popivka, Ukraine

Specifically designed for chilling out on beaches on the Crimean Peninsula, Y-BIO by Alix Shelest is constructed with the manipulation of air in mind—both that of sea breezes as well as steam. With no need for a foundation, this would be ideal for a longer getaway in a remote location.

Take a look at this project on our database.

Tree Tents by Luminair

More of a cabin than a tent, this cocoon elevates you above the usual camping discomforts. Including the options of electricity, furniture, mess unit, and even a stove, Luminair's Tree Tents inspire the Tarzan in all of us.

Read our previous coverage here.

Tentsile

Also toying with the idea of suspension, Tentsile is a versatile shelter that elevates you above all the critters (not to mention, bears) that could otherwise venture inside. Highly adaptable, this inhabitable hammock allows you to swing from basically every terrain.

Our article on the structure is here.

Bicycle Sauna by H3T Architects via DesignBoom

Camping can also double as a mini spa retreat if you bring along H3T Architects's Bicycle Sauna: a sweaty alternative to hiking for those who prefer a more sedentary escape.

Read more.

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