TreeHugger Bonnie first covered the Archipod at a London Home Show and in 2011 I wondered The Archipod Comes To America. But Will It Catch On? They got a lot of interest in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue but no sales; It's hard bringing a building, even this small, from the UK.
Now Judy Bernier has obtained the North American rights to the Archipod, rechristened the Podzook, and is building it in Maine out of local materials.
The main component of the pods, timber, grows in abundance here. Maine is, after all, called the Pine Tree State. There are folks who make insulation out of blue jeans. The shingles for the pods come from a Mom and Pop operation a few towns over. The cedar for these is harvested right here in Maine. The domes are made in Calais. The flooring, reclaimed, is from the bottom of the Penobscot River. Sourcing local products has been one of the more rewarding parts of this whole journey. I have met some incredible people along the way.
I wondered at first why she was importing the domes from France but in fact there is a Calais is in Maine, named after the French port in thanks for France's help in the American revolution.
Bernier confirms that that the name Podzook is a play on the old exclamation Gadzooks, which came from "god's hooks", which were the nails of Christ's cross. I don't know what the provenance of the nails used here are but am sure they have an interesting story too.
It's hard to say if the Podzook will catch on; it is still expensive for a building 9'-6" at it's widest (US$ 32K to $40K depending on configuration and finishes), it is still sort of impractical in that it is hard to furnish round spaces, and unlike in the UK where the garden office was born, most American homes have spare bedrooms or basements for home offices. (here are some other reasons why they are problematic in North America) But it was and is a beautiful thing, and I hope Judy Bernier is able to roll it out across North America.
More at Podzook.