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1973 Airstream Sovereign 31′ – Michelle

About This Project

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.


Vessel1973 Sovereign 31’


LocationMichelle 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.


PurposeVersatility 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.


GoalFamily-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 HighlightsThe 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
  • Automatic levelers
  • Electric hitch jack
  • Power entry step
  • New running gear, wheels and tires
  • And finally, Michelle’s been polished to a mirror shine!


Guesthouse, Recreational

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