The Barechested Architect


No one believes that I chose Matthew Hofmann, based entirely on his talent, for our Airstream project.

When I initially showed a friend Hofmann’s Airstream portfolio, “giddyup”were the first words to escape her mouth as she caught a glimpse of the Architect. Immediately followed by: “Does he come with the trailer?”

I assured her it was his designs that had caught my eye – I hadn’t even noticed his rippling pectoral muscles – but it was largely his story that sucked me in.

indexNice solar panels

Just two years ago, the sustainably-minded Architect from Santa Barbara purchased his first vintage Airstream on Craigslist.

Despite designing million dollar villas by day, Hofmann was looking for a way to downsize his life, so he remodelled and lived in the 25 foot trailer for one year with his girlfriend.

His incredible renovation inevitably caught the attention of Airstream enthusiasts around the world (such as us) and inspired his company Hofmann  Architecture, run by Hofmann and his media savvy father Wally, to specialise in small space design and Airstream customizations.


The 1978 Airstream Tradewind that started it all.

We took a leap of faith when we enlisted HofArc to buy and renovate a 1968 Airstream I found on ebay.

The decision was based, crazily, on a handful of online photographs I stumbled across of Hofmann’s Airstream and the serendipity of spotting the very same year and model of trailer at a mechanic’s workshop down the street. (They are still quite rare here in Australia).

Suddenly we found ourselves sending money we couldn’t afford to lose, over to a complete stranger in a faraway land.

But thankfully my gut instinct didn’t let us down.  And now our newly renovated Airstream has arrived in time for Christmas (she’s currently waiting to clear customs). Best Christmas present ever.

Here is my video interview with the vintage Airstream designer-extraordinaire. You can also check out what Wallabee looked-like before Hofmann worked his magic.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. StephInTexas says:

    So excited for you guys! I can’t wait to see the after pictures. Maybe it’s just me but, I can’t seem to view the video? Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks so much for the message. I’m not sure why it doesn’t play for you. Here’s the vimeo link for it if you want to see it.

  2. harpersfarm says:

    I didn’t even notice the Airstream at first… 🙂 Congratulations on your very special Christmas gift! It is a gift that will keep on giving year after year. Enjoy those rippling pectoral muscles… I mean… er… your beautiful Airstream.

  3. ruby mason says:

    Did I get the subtle mention Australia meaning you are in Australia?? We are the Airstream Dealer in Australia and debuted the Airstreams 4/Sept/12. We are looking for all Airstream owners who want to be in the WBCCI chapter that we are starting here. Once you own and Airstream you are called an Airstreamer! and we are planning a big trip around Australia that will bring Airstreamers from USA and Canada. Please contact me

    and congratulations on your good tastes in all aspects of appreciating the finer things in life 🙂

    1. Just sent you an email, Ruby! Your plans regarding a big Australian trip sound amazing 🙂

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