Exclusive: Bjarke Ingels Co-Designed a Self-Sustaining Private Island in Canada, and It’s Headed to Auction

Two of design’s biggest disruptors have teamed up to bring you a self-sustaining private island getaway in Canada.

The 11-acre wilderness retreat, which will be auctioned off via Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions this June, comes from the drawing board of Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and British label Vollebak. Headed up by subversive starchitect Bjarke Ingels, BIG is known for designing outside the lines. Similarly, Vollebak has been pushing the envelope with “intelligent” clothing for the past decade. Together, they have conceptualized their own version of a living, breathing ecosystem that offers its inhabitants a chance at a low-impact lifestyle.

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Located off the coast of Nova Scotia, the aptly named Vollebak Island is only reachable by boat, kayak, or a one-mile swim. As such, island dwellers can expect lush forest landscapes and only seals for neighbors. You aren’t just getting a piece of rugged land, though. The sale also includes exclusive rights to BIG’s design, with planning permission for said designs.

Vollebak Island
The self-sustaining Vollebak Island in Nova Scotia is headed to auction and includes design plans from architect Bjarke Ingels

“With Vollebak Island, we wanted to provide people with a glimpse of the future—a vision for how we might one day live on our planet—but one that can be built in real life today,” Vollebak co-founder Nick Tidball explains. “As we head into an uncertain world of climate change, space colonization, and resource scarcity, Vollebak Island imagines a truly sustainable future here on Earth, where architecture, design, and materiality all work hand in hand with the natural world, not against it.”

At the heart of Vollebak Island is Earth House. Essentially, it’s a small village that will be brought to life with 3-D printing technology. Made from hempcrete and boulder, the nine interconnecting structures offer up four bedrooms a living room, and a dining room. You can also expect charming thatched rooves.

Vollebak Island
The plans for the site include a Japanese-style bathhouse

Elsewhere, a Japanese-style bath house features soaking tubs carved from the surrounding bedrock. Of course, Vollebak Island prioritizes the wonders of the environment: You’ll be able to take in the night sky from a stargazing room and grow your own food in either a greenhouse or a solar-powered plant room, for example. And when time’s get tough, the bunker-like Wood House on the eastern shoreline can withstand the most extreme weather conditions.

“We make clothes from the future, and Bjarke creates the architecture of the future,” adds Steve Tidball, who co-founded the menswear brand with his twin brother. “So we wanted to join forces to create something truly unique—a vision of the world as we see it.”

This slice of sustainable paradise comes at a cost, of course. The island is expected to fetch between $5 million and $10 million at the upcoming auction, although it is quite unlike anything else on the market.

“Vollebak Island is both a magical home and a work of art,” adds Simon Shaw, vice chairman of Sotheby’s Global Fine Arts. “True to Bjarke Ingels’ vision, it reimagines our way of being in the world in a truly sustainable and inspiring manner.”

Bidding will begin on June 8 and conclude on June 14 at Sotheby’s in New York.

Click here to see all the photos of Vollebak Island.

Vollebak Island
Vollebak Island

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