The awning – to most campers it’s just an extension to shield them from the afternoon sun.
A notable design project from the late 1980s took the awning concept to the next level: two-thirds of the “DeMarkies” living-space is, in fact, a floored awning courtesy of the dropping walls of this infamous trailer. This experimental project by architect and design connoisseur Eduard Böhtlingk from the Netherlands featured an ingenious use of space.
Böhtlingk developed the idea of the “awning on the road” for an exhibition by junior Dutch architects. The exhibition posed the question “How do you define living space in today’s mobile world?” It’s not surprising that the young Böhtlingk took up the challenge to revolutionize the world of mobile living. In the 80’s, the Netherlands – known for their camping enthusiasts – was already home to many RVs. However, awnings were not yet mainstream and few had seen them as an integral part of the motorhome.
Today, more than 30 years after Böhtlingk published his plans for the first time, his innovative design stands as one of the most unique looking trailers ever conceived.
Triple your living space – with a click
The concept of the “DeMarkies” is as simple as it is brilliant. The trailer is the size of a common RV makes up the awning-camper’s core. With the awnings closed, the whole trailer measures no more than 7’-5″x 15′. As soon as it arrives at the campsite, the sides of the trailer can unfold to become the flooring for two new living compartments effectively tripling the living space. The result is a 290-square foot living area for up to six campers.
The living space is divided into three separate parts. The midsection, consisting of plywood and a steel frame contains a bathroom, a kitchen, and seating area. In one of the awning extensions, campers find two separated sleeping areas. On the other side, there’s a living room with a terrace.
While the living room awning shields light and provides privacy, the other side’s awning is made of a transparent but weatherproof plastic. In good weather, this awning can also be folded-in, like the ceiling of a convertible for a breezy day underneath the summer sky.
Eduard Böhtlingk’s innovative spirit wasn’t limited to the exterior. Wanting to make mobile life as comfortable as possible, a lot of thought went into the furniture as well. With a streamlined concept in mind, the seats and some tables fold out of the flooring. Other components of the furnishings follow the same aesthetic and can be stowed away when not being used. Functional spaces like the kitchen are firmly fixed into the plywood body of the trailer.
In 1995, his architectural office finished the first prototype of the awning-caravan one decade after Böhtlingk presented the design of the “De Markies”.
Unfortunately, to this day the “De Markies” is not available for sale, and only a few prototypes were ever produced. We can only dream that one day, this visionary concept becomes a viable reality.
While we can’t offer Campanda fans a DeMarkies, you can offer or rent your remarkable vehicle at Campanda.com.