Posted by Dabney B. on Monday, August 6th, 2012
Going to the beach is great and all, but the only catch about hanging out next to the ocean is that shade is rather lacking. You can escape the oppressive heat of the sun by moving back away from the shore until you’re underneath the treeline, but at that point you can no longer enjoy the surf. What’s the point of going to the beach if you’re not going to hang out by the water?
That means you’re going to have to bring your shade with you. Beach umbrellas are a popular choice, but umbrellas are only ever useful for one or two people — you’ve got no chance of fitting a whole party underneath one of those things. The most practical solution is to set up an event tent, but the poles take up a lot of space in your vehicle and, to put it bluntly, they’re kind of ugly.
The design company AirClad is offering a classy alternative for beach goers who want to beat the heat in style. These swanky portable pool houses will upgrade any beach or lakeside chunk of land into a sleek, modern hangout spot.
Here’s something that you’d never guess from the picture: they’re inflatable. Yep, they work just like those inflatable mattresses. You hook it up to an air pump motor, flip the switch, and wait for the air to transform the structure into a shady abode.
AirClad is calling this new style of architecture “bubbletechture,” though I don’t know if a name like that will ever catch on. I can’t believe that they didn’t go for the much more obvious “airchitecture.” C’mon, it’s only a one-letter difference!
Well, I’m not going to get into a debate about what to call these things (even though my name for them is totally better). Whatever you want to call them, these inflatable buildings could be the biggest thing in beachside parties since the invention of the margarita.
They’re an impressive 32 feet long, and they’re made out of an opaque, solar-reflective PVC material that should prevent the interior from turning into an oven beneath the summer sun. Even if it does get a bit hot in there, the open design will keep the inside nice and breezy.
Now, I know that these inflatable buildings are only tangentially related to aquatic architecture. What I find so interesting about them is that they’re only one step away from becoming an inflatable house. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not suggesting that we should all start living on inflatable homes out in the ocean or anything like that. What I’m saying is that these inflatable poolhouses would be so much better if you could haul them a few dozen feet out into the ocean, drop anchor, and host a floating beach party.
It’s not like the technology is beyond us or anything. Creating an inflatable hangout spot would be easy to do — we just need a company to jump on the opportunity and build it. You’d have a lot of the same benefits of owning a boat, but at only a fraction of the cost and you won’t have to worry about dock fees. Plus, you’d be the envy of everybody else on the beach.