New Delhi, October 18 (IANSlife): Hundreds of aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers from 23 countries were selected from tens of thousands of entries to bring their wild space ideas to life in the $10,000,000 OMG! Funds. Each winner will receive up to US$100,000 to help them realize their fantastic creations.
Five Indian recipients have been selected by the fund. The winning concepts stood out for their original and inspiring designs, their focus on sustainability and their creative approaches to delivering immersive guest experiences. Over the next ten months, they’ll be designing, building, and furnishing their spaces so they’ll be ready to welcome travelers by summer 2023, when you might be able to find them listed in Airbnb’s OMG! Category.
Decided by the OMG! These elaborate plans should win the OMG! Jury Prize from the fund, which includes design and fashion icon Iris Apfel, architect Koichi Takada, Airbnb Superhost Kristie Wolfe and Airbnb Vice President of Experiential Bruce Vaughn. Once bookable on the platform, a category of accommodation becomes 100 times more extraordinary.
India’s successful applicants expand the definition of what an Airbnb stay can be, from a farm stay in Maharashtra’s Western Ghats to a cheeky mango mansion near Madurai in Tamil Nadu to a durable, livable giant molar tooth .
The Wow! Recipients of the funds are fortunate to experience the significant economic benefits of hosting on the platform, which many are already familiar with as over 50% are already hosts. In India, the number of nights booked at distinctive properties has increased by more than 30% in the past two years alone, from 2019 to 2021. As more visitors book unusual accommodations, hosts are also gaining the money, with unique ads in India. almost INR 250 million in 2021 alone.
Meet the five Indians OMG! recipients who made it to the top 100 list:
Himalayan fruit shaped rooms created by Arun M.
Imagine staying in a Kafal (Myrica esculenta) shaped room located at a height of 6900 feet from sea level in a small picturesque village called Makkumath in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
This house will have a “cluster” of Kafal-shaped valley view rooms connected by a leafy solar bridge on top. Each piece will be painted in a unique shade ranging from green to dark brown, to represent the different shades of the local fruit. The rooms will have dirt floors, reflecting the local tradition of maintaining natural cooling. All rooms will come with a veranda that will blend in with the endless views of the nearby forest.
Speaking of the inspiration for this idea, OMG! Fund recipient Arun said, “The idea of this space is to pay homage to the mysterious and enduring life and culture of the Himalayas. I have very fond childhood memories of visiting our family home in Uttarakhand and eating Kafal fruits during summers. This project is for me a way to rebuild this childhood home. It would be a home for anyone yearning to get back to nature.”
Durable and Habitable Giant Molar Tooth created by Pewly D.
Located in a small forest in the heart of Tripura, this Molar residence will look like a real tooth. Designed with organic forms and locally sourced sustainable materials, you’ll feel like you’re living in a carved tooth.
“I am a nature-inspired architect and children’s book author, who has always aspired to bridge the gap between architecture in fantasy worlds and real life. My proposed project is a durable, habitable giant molar tooth, located in a private forest in northeast India. It was first conceptualized in a fantastic book I wrote about living things with teeth and I’m thrilled to turn that idea into a real space of life for Airbnb guests,” Pewly said.
Sprout House Farm Stay created by Milind S.
The Sprout House will be an organic living experience that goes beyond just providing a good stay and food. It’s about embracing the basics – getting back to the roots, growing and thriving in nature’s lap. The Sprout House will be built on the banks of the Krishna River, adjacent to a thriving biodiversity hotspot in Maharashtra, located within driving distance from Pune. At Sprout House, guests will wake up each day to the wonderful sights and sounds of nature and enjoy a peaceful getaway. The organic living room is rightly inspired by the sprout – both in spirit and form.
Milind S, the brainchild of Sprout House Farm Stay, said: “Sprout House is more than just a place to stay and eat. It’s about living in nature and getting back to basics. The aim is to encourage more farmers to use organic farming. methods, consider leveraging a farm stay as one of their other consistent sources of income, and encourage more people to adopt an organic lifestyle.
The playful Mango Mansion created by Rajan E.
The mango mansion will be located in the southern part of India at Natham near Madurai Tamil Nadu. The mansion will be surrounded by beautiful mango trees made up of various types of mango trees native to India. The mango mansion will be unique with its top and front view mango shaped mango illustrating the different sizes and shapes of mango for styling.
Invisible farm in a mango orchard created by Ankur A.
How about staying at an ‘invisible’ farm with fields on one side and an orchard on the other, located on an ancestral farm in Gabhana, Aligarh, near Delhi. The idea is to cover the exterior walls of the house with seamless reflective glass and metal to reflect the branches, leaves and sky and thus completely camouflage the presence of the house.
“The inspiration for the idea came after visiting my friend’s family in Gabhana, Aligarh, who have been wonderful stewards of these mango orchards for generations. The Invisible House will be a place that encourages reconciliation with nature by completely dissolving into the orchard. This is a design for people who like to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life,” Ankur said.