April 10, 2004 5:39 PM   Subscribe

Loftcube. I saw this in Playboy and had to look it up. [Flash and music].
posted by oflinkey (34 comments total)
I am reminded of an article I read some years back in the New York Times magazine. An author- I have forgotten his name- had a small workspace built in his backyard. I can't find that article, bit I am intrigued by the idea of what Playboy essentially promoted as a treehouse where girls definitely are allowed, and what to me looks like a high-end trailer without wheels.
posted by oflinkey at 5:42 PM on April 10, 2004

So, it's like a post-modern trailer park on top of a building? Neat idea though, I'd love to have had one while I was in college. Get a full view of the campus, party, sit in the rooftop swimming pool thing. Pretty sweet.
posted by graventy at 5:54 PM on April 10, 2004

sleek! I'd love to have one of those on my roof. On a related, yet much rougher note, people have been making houses out of shipping containers.
posted by amberglow at 6:03 PM on April 10, 2004

Looks cool, but I have unanswered questions:

1. Heating and cooling. Where are they? All those windows mean lots of heat in the summer time. The reflective surface of many roofs means lots of heat in the summer time. The space underneath the cube means another surface from which heat will escape in the winter. So temperature control is more important than it might be.

2. How do you clean those white stones in the shower? Do you just get replacements every month or so, like cat litter?

3. Can they be made to interlock like Legos?
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:09 PM on April 10, 2004

I don't think that people who pay top dollar for the penthouse suite are going to much appreciate someone dropping one of these on their roofs.

I mean, if you can plop your little cube on top of the most expensive apartment in the city, someone else is going to put his cube on top of your cube, ad infinitum.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:09 PM on April 10, 2004

someone else is going to put his cube on top of your cube, ad infinitum.
Then they need to put a warning label on the side of each cube saying "Do not stack more than X high."
posted by wendell at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2004

amberglow, that shipping container link reminded me of this story on Kuro5hin.
posted by thebabelfish at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2004

Found it in Playboy, eh? "I read it for the hyperlinks!"
posted by MonkeyMeat at 6:20 PM on April 10, 2004

Where is the toilet?
posted by quam at 6:44 PM on April 10, 2004 [1 favorite]

oflinkey, graventy,

that's the very first thing I thought of, too. Just a really cleverly marketed trailer (we call 'em caravans in Oz!).

A few years ago in Australia, it was suggested that prisoners be housed in refurbished shipping containers to alleviate overcrowded prisons in some areas.

An "uproar" ensued. Prisoner rights groups and various lobbyists were against it. But funnily enough (as far as I can tell) there wasn't much substance to their arguments. I mean, they were gonna put windows and air conditioning in the bloody things.

Their pathetic arguments were kinda like "you can't house prisoners in shipping containers coz it's... erm... just gross! You just can't, OK!!"
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:47 PM on April 10, 2004

Wait. So did I miss the toilet?

And no privacy is offered to guests, right? You just gotta buck up and shower out in the open (and let's hope your roof access is restricted and that yours is the highest roof on the block!)

Also, no storage space to speak of.

Cool as hell though. Definitely.
posted by rafter at 6:51 PM on April 10, 2004

interesting story, thebabelfish--but i'd live in a few, cantilevered and stationary, with windows punched out. : >
posted by amberglow at 6:54 PM on April 10, 2004

I would expect that the roof in question would need to be ABLE to accept the new weight something this would obviously bring. The website presents these things as though every rooftop in a given city is available. I just don't think that's at all the case.

I think the designer's have their spirits headed in the right direction. But I can't see this idea really taking off.
posted by Witty at 7:47 PM on April 10, 2004

batteries and port-a-toilet sold separately? (meh, i'd still want one)
posted by erisfree at 8:39 PM on April 10, 2004

allow me to be the first to scream in horror and dismay.


OK, consider this: cheaply manufactured + rooftop pool = disaster in the works, for starters.

If pod homes are your jones, wotabout container condos? I think there was a different yet similar link right around here somewhere, but I've misplaced it amid the detritus of 75 years of misguided millenarian podvisions of the architectural future. My bad.

Maybe I'm too married to the dumpster, or something. Good link, tho'.
posted by mwhybark at 9:24 PM on April 10, 2004

D'oh. Missed amberglow's similar link. Add it to my tab, barkeep.
posted by mwhybark at 9:26 PM on April 10, 2004

I, for one, wouldn't mind (temporarily) living in one of these refurbished shipping containers. :)
posted by benstewart at 9:39 PM on April 10, 2004

This has been floating around the usual channels for a while, but I recently saw it again in ReadyMade, or Dwell, or one of those hipster living magazines. Anyway, what caught my eye this time was not the overpriced designer roof-trailer, but the giant dancing people on the other side of the river in the background. (You can juuuust barely see them on the loftcube site.)

After a fair amount of searching, my lady friend finally tracked it down - it's a sculpture called Molecule Man, by Jonathan Borofsky. He has quite the portfolio of amazing work like this one. Anyway, just thought I'd share.

/me throws away a perfectly good front page post...
posted by majcher at 10:16 PM on April 10, 2004

i'm deeply shocked by this link.

i mean, does anyone still read playboy?
posted by triv at 2:28 AM on April 11, 2004

Look in any community in Taiwan, maybe other Chinese communities outside Singapore as well, and you will see the same thing. Albeit without all the design. I see tin shacks on many many roof tops around here.
posted by cmacleod at 2:45 AM on April 11, 2004

Wouldn't this encourage wacko city snipers? How many crosshairs pointed at the lit-up condo on the roof?
posted by SpaceCadet at 3:11 AM on April 11, 2004

I'd like to see it withstand ONE hurricane season in Florida.
posted by quasistoic at 4:55 AM on April 11, 2004

I didn't see the electrical or water hook-ups, either. But as for privacy concerns, I think you need to remember two things: first, you can always install curtains or blinds. Second, this is targetted at "passionate individuals." If you're not passionate enough to handle exposing yourself to the world from 45 floors up, maybe you shouldn't be living in a loftcube.

As for the "social" aspects of the loftcube that were suggested on their website, I must give a hefty scoff. First of all, you don't want to be playing volleyball, or any -ball activity on the top of a roof. Some asshat spikes the ball and suddenly you've got to replace the guy's windshield who made the mistake of parking in front of the building.

Second, and perhaps more important, mixing alcohol and high, exposed places is a recipe for disaster. I'm sure your "passionate" friends won't scrape off the pavement after taking a spill over the edge any easier than us more skeptical folk.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:22 AM on April 11, 2004

targetted at "passionate individuals"

definately a "shag pad" :D what's neat i think is they'd complement very well roof gardens! [more here :]

also, btw, the loftcube reminded me of this episode of diarmuid gavin's homefront in the garden!
posted by kliuless at 9:03 AM on April 11, 2004

Diarmuid Gavin is a genius.
posted by crunchland at 9:55 AM on April 11, 2004

Kind of reminded me of this: Little cube on the prairie. (There's a photo halfway down on the right.)
posted by mrbula at 10:03 AM on April 11, 2004

> Wait. So did I miss the toilet?

Dual-use plant pot?
posted by Blue Stone at 11:00 AM on April 11, 2004

There’s a whole community of people living in shipping containers in Aki Kaurismäki’s memorable film, The Man Without a Past (Mies vailla menneisyyttä). I’d pay extra for the one with the sea view.
posted by Geo at 11:19 AM on April 11, 2004

saw this in dwell a couple of issues ago. Very nifty concept: I'd much rather a little place with a great view and open air than any of the other city alternatives. But how do you even go about renting roofspace? Anybody?
posted by leotrotsky at 11:50 AM on April 11, 2004

uh, that's dwell.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:52 AM on April 11, 2004

also, I've got a question on this over at AskMe
posted by leotrotsky at 12:04 PM on April 11, 2004

fabprefab: great site and newsletter that keeps up on all this kind of stuff
posted by nix at 1:44 PM on April 11, 2004

Cool, now I can be yuppie Ghost Dog.
posted by furiousthought at 11:03 PM on April 11, 2004

I am reminded of an article I read some years back in the New York Times magazine. An author- I have forgotten his name.

Stewart Brand, author of How Buildings Learn.

Great little-known book. My copy is missing.
posted by mecran01 at 10:30 AM on April 12, 2004

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