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Nestron: reimagining old ideas and doing it well

Nigel Morris-Co...

When Hollywood "reimagines" classics, it usually does a terrible job.

But when Singapore-Malaysian company Neston started to reimagine the post-war prefab, the caravan and the converted garden shed, they ended up with something conceptually the same but different in almost every way.

This is Neston's Cube Two. It reminds me of those now outmoded clip-on speaker sets for the iPhone. Go on, be honest, you've got one in the cupboard, haven't you? Or the later Bluetooth speakers that have become an accidental beneficiary of the totally rubbish sound from phones pretending they are radios or TVs.

And it's very, very cool.

It's one of a range of what are, in effect, demountable buildings (think "cabin" as in construction site, etc) or a caravan without wheels. From some angles, it might even look a bit like a classic airstream.

Like a caravan, (Americans call them "trailers") it arrives fully fitted. You might think that all you have to do is plumb in the water and waste, connect the electricity and you've got a home in a couple of hours.

And if you move home, you literally move home.

We're not going to give you the breathless puff that some other outlets have done: we'll just give you the link.


You can take a virtual tour of the various designs.

Is it novel? No.

It is a very cool update of an idea that was fading away? Yes.

Has it been designed with the planet in mind? Yes.

Will it last for ever? No, it has a design life of 50 years. But those post-war prefabs in the UK had a design life of much, much less and they are still occupied by happy families today.

It is stackable? The company doesn't say but the designs suggest not: but given the trend towards container conversions which are stacked, that would seem to be the next logical step.

Once you've got a bit of land, and planning permission, the actual "construction" is fuss free, as easy as having a skip delivered and cheap, as anyone who has done renovations or, even, built an extension - much less a whole house - will know.

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