In 2010, the Archipod took teleworkers by storm with a new backyard office concept "designed around the idea that a garden building should become part of the garden landscape." The 3m-diameter sphere is hooked up with electric heat, ventilation, power outlets, natural light from a roof skylight, and is prefabricated in sections for easy assembly. The Archipod had one fatal flaw however--it was only available in the U.K.
American architect Judy Bernier fell in love with the Archipod, and wanted to bring the unique structure to the United States and Canada. Now, after extensive work and collaboration with Archipod-inventor Chris Sneebsy, we can all have our own Podzook, courtesy of locally-sourced materials in Maine.
Bernier recognizes that it would be cheaper and faster to import building materials from another country, and sell the pods like a commodity in Walmart. However, Bernier has been able to achieve three things with Podzook: she's been able to bring the pods to the United States and Canada, bring commerce to Maine, and create unique spaces for any purpose that are one-of-a-kind.
The structure is set on a concrete block foundation, measures 9 feet and 6 inches at it's equator, and is 8 feet tall. The curved walls of the pod have no visible joints, are constructed with curved plywood, and are insulated with foil insulation and a vapor barrier. The interior walls have a plasterboard finish applied by hand, which is then painted in a matte Zero-VOC paint. Although the exterior walls are typically clad in cedar shingles, the Podzook can be customized however a customer chooses, as long as the basic shell of the structure remains the same.
The most striking aspect of the Podzook's design is the gull wing door with gas struts, which was original to the Archipod. It is specially imported from the U.K., and is the only portion of the structure's shell not made in in America.
Bernier was initially inspired by the Archipod because it reminded her of playing in a "magical structure" (playhouse) in her cousin's backyard as a child. Sneesby marketed the Archipod as an alternative to the home office that makes work a destination for teleworkers, but Bernier sees the Podzook as a space with endless opportunities. The pod can be a studio, a playhouse, a guest room, or a reading nook due to Bernier's flexibility regarding customization. According to Bernier, the "options are limitless" (depending on how much you want to spend), and she will try to accommodate a customer's vision as best as she can.
According to the Podzook website, prices range from $32K-$40K, "about the same price as a Honda Odyssey but way cooler." Similar to RV's, the pod is plug and play, and Bernier writes that a "fat pod" will be offered in the future, which will be larger than the Podzook's current dimensions.