In 1967 during the Summer of Love, The Beatles lyrics, “Michelle, ma belle, these are words that go together well…” expressed a simple, yet deep emotion that translated into one of the most popular pop tunes of the ’60s. The lyrical love ballad, Michelle, co-written by the Beatles front man Paul McCartney, offers a much deeper message than the simple tune’s name implies.
Michelle was inspired by this Beatles tune because like the song, this 1973 Airstream Sovereign possess a deeper breadth of functionality and hidden qualities beneath her silver skin.
In 2016, the same pure, heart-felt message continues to strike a chord with those looking for a deeper sense of connection to each other, their families, and their environment. Michelle is yet another vessel by Hofmann Architecture that has been carefully designed and crafted to serve a family who will share an adventurous lifestyle while building memories for generations to come.
Client: A California couple that’s ready to take family time to a whole new level with their 6 month old as they seek adventure in comfort and luxury.
Vessel: 1973 Sovereign 31’
Location: Michelle can adapt equally well to extreme heat and cold; whether it’s at her temperate home on San Diego’s coast, the sizzling Mojave Desert, or subfreezing nights in the Eastern High Sierra.
Purpose: Versatility reigns in this beach-to-mountain vacation home for an active family looking to maintain creature comforts, while enjoying the John Muir’s Sierra Nevada Range of Light.
Goal: Family-friendly functionality meets hidden high-end electronics, state-of-the-art HVAC heating and cooling, and easy-to-use tech features. Behind the clean, rustic finishes is an Airstream “rocket ship” like no other. Not one automated function or space age-like component was overlooked. It’s easily the most self-contained, ready-for-anything vessel we’ve ever designed.
Design aesthetics are combined into a durable package of natural, quick-to-clean-and-maintain surfaces. The vessel needed to have a separate sleeping space for mom and dad, with bunks for the children. Durable flooring, countertops and cabinet finishes blend rustic barn wood and smooth surfaces. A high priority has been placed on self-sufficient electrical power generation with maximized solar panels and battery storage.
Design Highlights: The client’s self-described “clean and cozy style” was achieved by blending a careful mix of contemporary, modern, clean white, aluminum, stainless steel, and warm rustic reclaimed wood. “And, of course, because it’s a vintage Airstream we want the outside to be shiny!”
The Airstream features state-of-the-RV-industry heating and cooling systems. The Alde radiant warm floor and wall heating will reduce the chance of drafts, even in the coldest settings. There’s even a towel warmer! The ducted air conditioning in the ceiling provides well-distributed cooling throughout the vessel.
As part of the shell-off restoration the body was raised 6 additional inches for a ducted air conditioning system in a hidden ceiling for even distribution of cold air
Four ceiling fan vents in the lounge, bunk and bathroom areas for natural light and ventilation
Large u-shape lounge that converts into adult bed for two or dining for six
Automated dining table raises and lowers with a switch
Comfortable memory foam mattress with hidden night stands on either side, and USB chargers, and reading lights
Two under counter refrigerators/freezers
Isotherm mini refrigerator for drinks located at the entrance for easy access
Flat screen TV and Bose Surround Sound soundbar integrated into solid oak cabinetry
Top of the line Bose speakers throughout the interior and exterior
Expansive solid surface grey countertops in the kitchen galley
Large under mount stainless steel sink and homestyle chrome faucet
Combination washer/dryer — that’s right, say, ba-bye to the local laundromat
Smooth white cabinetry with locking chrome Hafele hardware throughout
Two burner induction cooktop stove
Double bunk beds with rail, memory foam mattresses, reading lights, and personal skylights for stargazing
Lower bunk bed automatically expands from a single to a cantilevered double with the flip of a switch
Spacious built-in storage closets for hanging and numerous drawers
Built-in digital safe for securely storing valuables
Convenient storage shelves with USB power for keys, wallets, mobile phones
Large water-resistant pull out drawer under lounge seat at entry for wet shoes and gloves
New LED lights throughout
Reclaimed wood floors and the table in the lounge area
Sunbrella upholstery cushions throughout and the exterior awning
Frosted translucent plexi-glass surface bathroom door
Alde radiant hot water system provides heat for the interior walls, floors, bath towel, and water storage tanks
Icynene spray foam insulation for increased R-value and structural stability
Battery storage and electronics equipment located over the axles for optimum weight distribution
Glass tiled bathroom with sink, shower, and toilet
Self-draining teak drop-in bathroom floor
Electric ZipDee awning
Two 40 lb LPG tanks
Protective front rockguard window
Electric water heating system for fresh/waste water valves
Electric hitch jack
Power entry step
New running gear, wheels and tires
And finally, Michelle’s been polished to a mirror shine!