University Students Design New Cavco Park Model

Cavco Wedge

POMONA, Calif. — Students at California State PolyTechnique University in Pomona have developed a new cabin design that has gotten the attention of California State Parks officials as well as Cavco Industries, one of the nation’s top producers of campground cabins.

In fact, the new cabin concept, called The Wedge, is so unique that Cavco agreed to build a prototype unit using the students’ designs and to transport it to Sacramento, where it will be featured at the California State Fair in Sacramento on July 11 to 27.

“We think The Wedge has a very innovative design that will capture people’s attention and stimulate their interest in cabins and in cabin camping,” said Tim Gage, Cavco’s national vice president of park models, cabins and specialty products for Cavco, which designs and builds fully furnished cabins for campgrounds across the country.

“California State Parks officials are very interested in The Wedge,” Gage said.

Unlike traditional cabins, The Wedge has a unique roof that sits at an almost perfect 90-degree angle. That’s not all that is different about The Wedge compared to a traditional cabin. It also incorporates various materials, including Western red cedar vertical siding, a composite porch deck and an ACX plywood interior for a more modern look. The small footprint cabin has a spacious porch as well as an inside area with a built in full size bed and twin bunk beds as well as custom made seating.

CalPoly students hope State Parks will embrace The Wedge and market it as a unique rental accommodation.

“Our students have come up with a design that could stimulate increase in cabin camping in public parks,” said Juintow Lin, an associate professor of architecture at CalPoly Pomona.

The students, she added, have been working with independent Parks Forward Commission, which has been tasked with creating proposals to address financial, operational and cultural issues facing the Department of Parks and Recreation. Commission co-chairman Lance Conn particularly wanted the panel to look at recreating the traditional cabin as a way to attract minorities and non-traditional campers to State Parks.

CalPoly College of Environmental Design Dean Michael Woo also serves on the Parks Forward Commission, and was asked to have CalPoly’s architecture students take the lead in designing the cabin in an effort to jumpstart interest among groups that are not typical campers.

“Our students frequently get to use their imaginations to solve design problems,” Woo says. “With this project, our students are not only using their imaginations, but also are making something which will change the way Californians perceive and use the great outdoors.”

Lin said her students designed more than 10 distinctively different cabins that had to meet certain conditions such as size, portability and a tight budget. The model called The Wedge was ultimately presented to Cavco for construction.

At least one model that the students worked on is expected to be placed in a state park, but CalPoly students and Parks Forward Commission officials hope is that it will prove so popular it will become the new standard for what camping looks like in California.

“These are designed with the intention of being very real structures eventually,” student Kevin Easterling said. “It’s on its way.”

This opportunity was provided to the architecture students in the fallout from the 2011 state budget crisis that included a threat of 70 parks being shuttered. The parks survived but it was learned later that the possibility of the closures was partly the result of senior officials in the state Department of Parks and Recreation hiding $54 million in two special funds. Park attendance has also dropped in recent years.

The independent Parks Forward Commission was tasked to create proposals to address financial, operational and cultural issues facing the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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SOURCE: Cavco press release

interior photo

The interior of the “Wedge” prototype cabin created by Cal Poly Pomona architecture graduate students.

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Donna - August 22, 2014 Reply

Um, any pics of the inside?
A search of the included links returned a seach of the the wedge with “no result”.

Joyce - August 22, 2014 Reply

Would have been nice to see a floorplan or possibly interior photos. No info provided on the links either. There have been similar posts of the building in progress or drawings of interior possibilities along with floor plans from other cabin ideas to help the reader ‘see the product’.

Becca - August 22, 2014 Reply

I’d go camping in that 🙂

Ruth Prock - August 22, 2014 Reply

Too bad there are no interior shots or floor plans.

Mary Gerdt - August 22, 2014 Reply

Love this design!

Doc - August 22, 2014 Reply

Very nice modern design. Like the incorporation of the covered porch alot. The roof might be 30°, might, but 90°? To what I’m not sure.
Still a very nice place. Throw in kitchen and bath space and you have very nice looking home. Well done.

    Rebecca - August 22, 2014 Reply

    I agree. I can’t find a 90 degree angle in that picture.

    Richard - August 22, 2014 Reply

    It looks to me like a 45 degree angle, exactly half of a 90 degree angle. This is the 2nd instance of such a basic error of geometry i have seen in the last month.

alice h - August 22, 2014 Reply

Interesting design. You could easily screen in that front porch in buggier areas.

Wayne - August 22, 2014 Reply

Not so fast guys this design has been around for years maybe not on the W coast but here on the E coast. I grew up in a builders family this layout was big in the early 60’s an 70’s especially on lake front property, drop down a foot and add a screened in porch to the left and you have a small get away. In the early years small was great but the BIG hit the market on lakes and mountain property, build what you can afford, now days regulations require minimum sq footage, it was simple and it worked.

Wendy - August 22, 2014 Reply

Really attractive design. However- living near The Sea Ranch, where most homes are built in a similar style with no eaves, I would definitely want to consider extending the roofline a bit to allow a slight overhang. One problem with this design is that there is no protection for the siding from moisture- so the siding ends up rotting (even cedar or redwood) and has to be replaced every so many years. In arid areas it would not be a problem but in rainy and wet climates- it ends up being quite expensive.

Leslie - August 22, 2014 Reply

How about rain drainage? Not much of a overhang on the roof. And for most national parks a metal roof would be a must.

James - August 22, 2014 Reply

If you look closely I think you will see the picture is computer rendering not and actual cabin in the woods, hence the lack of other photos. Nice materials but I think it could use some skylights or more windows and I’m not to fond of the angles on the inside of the porch, perhaps it’s the asymmetry of the whole thing.

Lynne - August 22, 2014 Reply

I’d love to see interior shots.

There were two cabins similar to this at the church camp I attended back in the early 1960s, in western WA state (built privately, later donated to the camp). But they don’t have the ‘wedge’ porch and steps, just standard rectangles, and they do have roof overhangs. When I was at that camp earlier this year for my daughter’s wedding, those two cabins were still there. I was told that they’re the most popular ones to rent out, because they’re both eye-catching and efficient in design.

Bob Krol - August 22, 2014 Reply

The only 90 degree angles that I can detect are at the floor and the four vertical walls.

David B - August 22, 2014 Reply

It’s not clear to me how this is so unique and why it would attract non-traditional campers. Is it simply quite inexpensive?

An off-square floor design can create space usage problems. It appears the front is angled as well. Custom angels also add cost.

And I concur on the 90 degree reference. The wall is 90 degrees, not the roof.

Vadim - August 23, 2014 Reply

where pics of the inside?

Bear - August 23, 2014 Reply

Interior pictures?

    Wehaf - August 24, 2014 Reply

    The article has an interior photo of the prototype.

Tom - August 25, 2014 Reply

Please direct me to the unique roof and it’s “almost perfect 90-degree angle.”. 🙂

Deb - August 25, 2014 Reply


Sandy Long - August 26, 2014 Reply

Sorry, I’m really starting to despise this thoughtless type of design. Seriously, why so few windows? I’m becoming beyond baffled how the setting is totally ignored. Who would want go into a beautiful setting – which is assumed if it’s intended for a campground or park – and sit inside an ugly box with hardly any view at all. (If it is meant for state parks they aren’t going to want to spend much to spruce up the interior). The porch is the worst, normally you’d want to sit there to enjoy the outside, so why only one view out the front? Yes, some privacy is needed in campgrounds as the spots are often close, but at the very least the porch could be more open and you could then go inside for more privacy. This is just sad to me because they don’t seem to value the outdoors. Especially telling is the quote “…our students are … making something which will change the way Californians perceive and use the great outdoors.” How, by mostly ignoring it? Treating as little more than a backdrop? Sorry, I’m just expressing myself a bit more forcefully than I usually would as they seem to want to sell it to our state parks, if it was something an individual wanted to use, hey, knock yourself out.

Tiny House Round-Up 08/23/2014 - Geek Prepper - August 21, 2018 Reply

[…] University Students Design New Cavco Park Model […]

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