These $250,000 Pods Are Helping Silicon Valley Elites Get in Touch with the Outdoors

Galini Sleeping Pod for Walden
Galini Sleeping Pod for Walden | © DFA
Photo of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor31 May 2018

Hoping to lure Silicon Valley executives to the great outdoors, a New York City-based architectural firm has created the Galini, a $250,000 (£188,000) self-sustaining sleep pod.

Imagine sleeping under the stars in a portable, triangular structure.

No, not a tent – a Galini. A 300-square-foot (28-square-meter) sleep pod made up of a 3D-printed carbon fiber shell, interior wood finishing, a bed, shower, sink and toilet, LED lighting, a front and back porch, and heating and cooling systems.

Galini Sleeping Pod for Walden | © DFA

The $250,000 concept was designed by New York City-based architectural firm DFA for Walden Monterey, a 600-acre “sustainable development” located about an hour south of Silicon Valley.

Drawing inspiration from naturalist Henry David Thoreau (who may or may not have had a quarter-million-dollar sleeping pod at Walden Pond), the ‘agrihood’, or agricultural neighbourhood, is being created for tech elites interested in reflecting upon simple living in natural surroundings. Thoreau is even quoted on Walden Monterey’s website: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.”

Galini Sleeping Pod for Walden | © DFA

Potential residents of Walden Monterey will be invited to stay in the Galini sleep pods while deciding whether to buy one of the site’s 15-acre plots, which are on sale for a cool $5 million (£3.7 million) each.

The eco-friendly pods draw their electrical supply from solar panels, wind turbines and a Tesla battery housed underneath the floor. A compression system draws water from the atmosphere, and all wastewater is recycled by means of organic filtration. The pods can even be put on the back of a truck and placed in remote landscapes, causing “very little impact on the natural system,” according to the DFA website. (No word from developers on the impact of driving a truck into a remote landscape).

Galini Sleeping Pod for Walden | © DFA

When complete, the Walden Monterey development will have 22 homes spread over its 600 acres. Unfortunately for buyers, there are no houses included in the $5m plot price – not even a Galini.

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