On the Road: A Makeover for a Maine Bus
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An instant guest bedroom on wheels? That’s what Portland, ME-based architect Will Winkelman of Winkelman Architecture was asked to provide in the restoration of a 1959 Chevrolet Viking short bus. Winkelman’s client was looking for maximum flexibility: transportation for group outings, a camper for family forays into the wilderness, and of course the invaluable extra guest bedroom. Complete with plumbing, power, and a funky interior, being a guest was never more fun. Above: The exterior of the 1959 Chevrolet Viking bus was a pure restoration. Above: A peek into the bus's sleeping quarters. Above: "The client envisioned a funky, hippy, Moroccan vibe," says Winkelman. "To that end, it's like we inserted an alternate life into the bus, a road not yet traveled. We took it back to the 1960s and rooted it there with beads, dangles, and paisleys." Above: A mixture of animal prints, paisleys and Moroccan prints selected by Vince Moulton Interiors give the furnishings a funky 60's vibe. Above: "For the interior millwork, we translated the design vision into an arts and crafts aesthetic," Winkelman says. "Quarter-sawn white oak felt like the right fit: not exotic, not trying too hard. It wants to be finely crafted and is evocative of the era." Above: "The floor is salvaged heart-pine to maximize durability, installed using the original surface of the resawn boards exposed to look like it has been there for half a century," says Winkelman. Above: A detail of the reading lamp. Above: Table seating provides more seating when the bus is used for group transportation. Above: The single beds can be put together to make a queen-sized bed. Above: "To transform the vehicle into a camper we turned to the custom boat building trade—an obvious source for beautifully crafted, uniquely shaped and highly fitted work that is accustomed to utilizing every inch," says Winkelman. Above: "The mechanical aspect of the vehicular restoration was huge, rebuilding the frame and mechanicals from the chassis up, tailoring the components to the bus's body and keeping the feel, function, and features consistent with a vintage vehicle," says Winkelman. "The body shop lifted the body off and tenderly restored it to its original self, sometimes fabricating replacement parts, sometimes sourcing salvaged parts on the web." Above: The bus in its original condition prior to its makeover. Above: All aboard! N.B. Looking for another creative instant guest bedroom idea? See An Instant Guest Bedroom—Made from Canvas .