Electric car can be used as a huge power bank, powering this unique office for almost a week

”It’s a getaway designed to deliver a pure experience and works best in stunning locations in nature,” says Willem van Bolderen, architect and co-founder of Finnish practice Studio Puisto, that’s designed Space of Mind. It’s safe to say that car company Hyundai managed to find that very stunning site for their new designer cabin.
November 02, 2021

Currently shortlisted as one of five finalists in Dezeen’s Emerging Architecture office of the year (globally), Studio Puisto specializes in experiential hospitality design, such as hotels, resorts, and retreats. They’ve also worked together with fellow Finnish manufacturer Protos Demos on several of these hospitality projects, where Studio Puisto has designed and Protos Demos has built the interior.

— We played with the idea of doing a project for some time, van Bolderen tells, but when corona struck we decided to work on a cabin that would be the perfect escape from daily life. So, we founded Space of Mind, a getaway designed to deliver a pure experience, either for working, sleeping, working out, or as a sauna. They work best in stunning locations in nature where these hard-to-get places form a challenge for the infrastructure. What better way than to use your electric car to power your getaway?

Enter Hyundai. As one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, they and their entire industry are in pursuit of finding the key for more sustainable mobility.

— The company invests in advanced technologies such as robotics and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to bring about revolutionary mobility solutions while pursuing open innovation to introduce future mobility services and accelerating our transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider, shares Tobias Joelsson, head of PR & communications at Hyundai Sweden.

The company has now joined forces with Studio Puisto on a new project called Today’s Office, located at the island of Värmdö just a short car ride outside of Stockholm — yet highly remote.

— Just imagine working in the middle of nature, in a small designer cabin with just the sound of birds chirping and deer running outside the window. Still, you are enjoying the full electric comfort of a city office. This is exactly what we’ve created together with Studio Puisto. A tiny office, fully connected in an otherwise off-the-grid environment using our new electric car, the IONIQ 5, and developed to boost creativity by inviting nature into everyday work life.

How does it work, powering a cabin with a car?

— It’s a next-level plug and play — offering heat pump, lights, sound system, TV, espresso machine, fridge, wi-fi, and even a toilet powered by the car. Using a unique feature called Vehicle-to-Load (V2L), the car basically transforms it into a huge power bank. Providing up to 3,6 kW, it can power the cabin for almost a week. A feature that can be applied to countless other applications, only limited by fantasy, tells Joelsson.

Willem van Bolderen, which materials have you used?

— To have as small of a footprint as possible we’re using wood for almost all our components. It makes the building light, so that it can be transported by helicopter, has thermal properties that help insulate the space, and is warm to the touch and the eye. For the materials that are not wood-based, we worked with suppliers and materials that are sustainable, including wool and sisal carpets and wool pillows and throw.

Studio Puisto and Protos Demos have created Space of Minds for several locations in Finland and are working on opening quite many ”mini-resorts” before next summer, both in Finland and central Europe, before the plan is to bring it to other parts of the world.

Today’s Office, Tobias Joelsson explains, is meant to inspire about the pros and possibilities of going fully electric-free. The cabin at Värmdö is free to use, mainly for creatives, entrepreneurs, and influencers with a sustainable mindset. 

— It includes a full day with the IONIQ 5 and is open for a few more weeks in the present location before it will move to other parts of Sweden, offering it to a new group of guests. When Covid hit, we saw the need and increasing acceptance for people to work away from their regular office. Maybe we’ll produce more cabins, making them accessible to more people year-round. Nothing is decided yet but with the V2L technology, possibilities are endless, Joelsson concludes.