Small-space living: Design to go

Small-space living ideas from a landscape architect's Airstream home

Airstream trailer home

The designer parks his live-in Airstream behind a Berkeley co-op. For his on-site office, he uses another trailer—a 2003 cherry-red Wells Cargo—that he pulls behind his Honda CR-V.

Photo by Mark Compton

mobile home layout

At home: The view through the Airstream's back window shows the entire layout of the home. There are no closets, so Stavropoulos keeps possessions to a minimum.

Photo by Mark Compton

office trailer

At work: When Stavropoulos heads to a job, he tows this 2003 cherry-red trailer behind his Honda CR-V.

The mobile studio’s loading ramp swings open to views of the real garden as Stavropoulos gets to work.

A Kyocera KD 135-watt solar panel is mounted on the roof to power his iMac. The mobile studio’s loading ramp swings open to views of the real garden as Stavropoulos gets to work.

Photo by Mark Compton

mobile office desk

At work: Everything Stavropoulos needs is inside: generous workspace, reference books, and, of course, his desktop computer. A “shadowless” translucent skylight illuminates the work area, so supplemental daytime lighting isn’t necessary.

Photo by Mark Compton

  • Airstream living space

    Stylish living on wheels

    Landscape architect Andreas Stavropoulos turns a vintage Airstream trailer into an ultra-cool home. His office? It's on wheels, too.


Andreas Stavropoulos is a man on the go. Each day he wakes up inside the 1959 Airstream trailer that he bought from a collector, retrofitted, and now calls home. He breakfasts in the Airstream’s small “kitchen,” then heads to work. But the Berkeley-based landscape architect doesn’t drive to an office; he heads to the actual site in his Honda CR-V, towing behind it ​ a wheeled “think tank”—a 2003 cherry-red Wells Cargo trailer that he found on Craigslist.

Photos: See inside his home and office trailers

Once there, he throws open the trailer’s back door and drafts his plans in full view of the garden he’s redesigning. This isn’t exactly the norm in the modern, virtual reality–driven world of landscape architecture. But Stavropoulos​—who earned his MLA from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2007—is a back-to-the-land kind of guy. He wants to ground his garden plans in the realities of the site, and he retrofitted the 6- by 10-foot cargo trailer to help him do that.

Both the trailer and the Airstream—which he painstakingly remodeled using a friend’s sculpture studio at Stanford University and another friend’s woodworking shop in Oakland—are suited for the life he leads now. “I have always loved small, manageable, mobile spaces,” he says. “They allow me breathing time as I set off on my chosen path.”

Info: Andreas Stavropoulos, XS Land Architects (415/710-0431)

Mobile living 101: Tips from a nomad designer 

At Home

At Work

More: See inside his Airstream home and office trailer

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