Dezeen Magazine

Alice Bleton's bunker-like capsule offers an escape from busy city life

Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Alice Bleton has designed a rooftop capsule to give city-dwellers a temporary retreat from their congested environment.

Shown at this year's Dutch Design Week, the Monade Capsule is designed to give workers a place to separate themselves from the office and re-engage with their environment in a more positive way.

The pod elevates its inhabitants above the hustle and bustle of the city below while keeping them sheltered from the elements.

"As city-dwellers, our daily environment consists mainly of concrete and glass buildings," said Bleton.

"If we cannot escape from this landscape, we need to look at things in our environment that give us air and inspiration. The Monade Capsule derives from this thought."

Bleton took her inspiration for the capsule from living spaces that are designed for extreme conditions, like bunkers, submarines, or mountain huts.

Her minimal spaces, which she describes as "urban huts", are intended to offer those living in built environments a quiet place and a different view viewpoint.

Comprised of 21 pieces of fibreglass, the cylindrical shell uses transparent sections to allow clear views of the area, while translucent panels filter the daylight to achieve a calming, atmospheric light.

An L-shaped cut-out in the capsule hugs the building's edge, anchoring it partly to the rooftop and partly to the facade. This load-bearing base allows the pod to support up to five people.

"At the top of the mountain, and in the hardest reachable places, people created cabins and refuges to spend the night," Bleton explained.

"These temporary shelters offer minimal comfort to the hikers. It's a shared space where people gather to protect themselves from the outside climate."

The Monade Capsule takes its name from the philosophical term "monad" meaning "unit."

"The Greek philosopher Plotinus used this term to talk about points of view," said Bleton.

"Each monade would offer a unique perspective on a city; since there is an infinite number of viewpoints, there could be an infinite number of monads."

Dutch Design Week took place in Eindhoven from 21 to 29 October 2017.

Dezeen also hosted a series of talks during the festival, discussing how design can answer some of the world's big problems – these talks are available to watch via our Good Design for a Bad World page.