Interview: PurePods Glass Pods in New Zealand

By 13th September 2019Interviews
Atatū PurePod - glass walls, glass ceiling, glass floor

At Marston & Langinger we believe in the mental and physical benefits of living under glass within close proximity to the outdoors. PurePods, a New Zealand based company, has founded its business upon this ethos. Stephanie Hassall has created a unique luxury experience through the use of beautiful double glazed structures, which allow you to immerse yourself in the best of the incredible New Zealand landscape.

Where did the idea for PurePods come from? How long have you been in business?

We wanted to provide a way for visitors to our country to truly immerse themselves in these stunning New Zealand landscapes, without roughing it in a tent or in a communal back-country hiking hut, or being stuck at a hotel with lots of other people… After testing many concepts and prototypes, the first transparent PurePod design was built in 2014 and we have since opened six PurePods. Each pod has its own unique view of the beautiful New Zealand landscape, well away from all other humans, so you can be assured of your own secluded slice of paradise.

Could you tell us about the project?

We have spent years developing a unique product that offers superb luxury in a tiny space that “floats” in the environment, with a super low ecological footprint, designed for a great experience all year round. With glass walls, glass floor and glass roof you can truly immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape, while remaining safe, warm and dry, regardless of the weather. Even the chairs, side tables and bed head-board are transparent to ensure nothing impacts your view of the landscape.

Imagine being all alone in a stunning natural New Zealand location, in a luxury glass cabin with a glass roof for star- gazing, a glass floor beneath so you can see ferns or tussocks growing and three walls all of glass, so you can immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape.

Pōhue PurePod - starry starry night skies

How have you incorporated sustainability into the Pods?

The PurePods are solar-powered, operating fully off the grid and are deliberately free of a wi-fi connection, so guests can be assured of a minimal carbon footprint. The PurePod is designed to have less impact than a tent while still offering a luxurious way to completely experience nature. The water supply comes from water tanks up high behind the PurePod and goes through a robust filtering process to ensure it is always completely safe to drink. The plants under the glass floor are all watered by the runoff from rainfall during the wetter months, and from the PurePod water supply during the hot summer months. The PurePod is powered primarily by the solar panels along the sides of the veranda roofing. There is also a bio-fuel capable water heater to supplement the solar panel power.

From the beginning PurePods has been focused on providing an environmentally friendly, yet luxurious experience, so it made sense to become an early adopter of the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment. We have also been awarded with a Qualmark 5 Star Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award.

What have been the benefits and challenges of using glass for your structures rather than the traditional glamping choices? (Yurts, Tents etc).

The decision to build a primarily glass structure was an easy one for us. It is the only way to achieve our goal of providing the feeling of floating in the landscape, where you can stay safe and warm even on the coldest days and watch nature put on a show. And the glass roof means you can star-gaze the night away from the comfort of bed. Having a robust structure that can contend with all the weather conditions, without compromising the guest experience and comfort was really important to us.

Do you think the role of nature and outdoors is important for our health? (Mental and physical). If so how do the Pods fit into that?

Yes, absolutely, in these days of digital overload, I truly believe you need to get outdoors, put down your phone and just soak what nature has to offer. And, that’s exactly what the PurePod experience offers you. The walk from the car park to the PurePod is an important part of the PurePod experience; it introduces you to the local environment and reinforces the privacy and isolation of the location.

What’s next for PurePods?

We’ll be on the hunt for some new locations next year, so keep your eyes peeled.