Who would have thought that such a dramatic duel could take place right here, of all places?! Loch Linnhe is such a peaceful spot on the west coast of Scotland, characterised by gently rolling waves and tame hills. Countless islands and fjords shield the inland sea from the vast North Atlantic.
But then there’s Castle Stalker, with its four weather-beaten, stony storeys reaching up into the sky. It is propped up by one of the smallest islets, which isn’t even an islet at low tide and hasn’t got a name. Movie buffs are familiar with this mixture of residential castle and fortified tower: It was the setting for the bloodthirsty finale of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, as well as for Highlander: Endgame. In real life, Castle Stalker is still hanging on, looking grimly towards the opposite shore in anticipation of the first shot.
Vis-à-vis the bullets are already at the ready, cleverly concealed between birch trees and rhododendrons. It is only upon closer inspection that one can appreciate their size. What looks like an alien invasion is called Ecopod Boutique Retreat and is indeed waging a war – for sustainable tourism!
The two (soon to be three) Ecopods brandish a state-of-the-art arsenal of weapons for saving energy. The furniture consists mostly of used modern classics.
All waste is disposed of biodynamically on site. A wind turbine and solar panels are planned to supply hot water and electricity, while compressed wood is already used to increase the heating value of the fireplaces.
Their ecological impact is reduced further by their basic structure, which the Berlin company Zendome based on Buckminster Fuller’s ideas. Their spherical shape provides two people with a maximum of space within a minimal surface area. The insulating double outer shell limits heat loss. To preserve the landscape, the structures are supported on wooden stilts and platforms. They can also be completely dismantled. Thus the knights of sustainability will avoid a big showdown. Castle Stalker can wait for it for another 700 years.