Airbnb isn’t exactly lacking in unusual vacation home designs – such as the Air bee and bee, for example. However, the online property rental marketplace could soon host a lot more as it has now launched a new competition soliciting the most oddball ideas for vacation homes, 100 of which it will then fund to build.
The competition, which is similar to another that Airbnb held back in 2020, includes a US$10 million fund to finance 100 of the “craziest” ideas. Once built, they will be put up for rent and featured in Airbnb’s so-called OMG! Category, which is home to its most unusual rentals.
“Starting today, anyone with an out-of-this-world idea can submit an application,” explained Airbnb. “One hundred people with the craziest ideas will receive $100,000 each to make their creations possible and, ultimately, bookable. Ideas will be judged by an expert panel for their originality, feasibility, the experience the space will provide guests, and sustainability.”
The judges in question are Kristie Wolfe, who is no stranger to producing odd homes herself, as well as architect Koichi Takada, Airbnb’s Bruce Vaughn, and influential interior design and fashion guru Iris Apfel.
Airbnb has helpfully highlighted some examples of what kind of designs it considers suitably bonkers for inspiration. One such abode, the Yellow Submarine tiny house, is located in New Zealand. Obviously referencing the Beatles, it looks very authentic, but is actually an ingenious original invention made from an old grain silo and other recycled materials.
The interior is relatively spacious and can sleep up to four people, plus there’s a small outdoor terrace area.
The Big Idaho Potato Hotel was created by judge Kristie Wolfe back in 2019 and transformed a disused promotional potato weighing six tons (5,443 kg) into a unique dwelling.
The habitable tuber was previously an empty shell that was used for storage but now includes a sleeping area and some seating. Alas, there are no windows though, so it probably won’t suit claustrophobes.
If you have an off-the-wall design that you think would be a winner, head to the competition page and send it in before 22 July. Each idea should be practicable and able to pass building inspections. It will also need to be completed by August 2023.