OPN Architects, Ideal Builders transform mid-century camper for fundraiser

Mid-century camper turned modern outdoor escape for Frozen Assets Festival’s North American Ice Shanty Design & Build

Olaf from OPN Architects on Vimeo.

MADISON – In a state like Wisconsin, where the average high temperature is 29 in the winter, residents can’t just get through winter. They must embrace it. You might say, they must see it as an asset.

That’s the idea behind the Frozen Assets Festival from Feb. 5 and 7 at The Edgewater and Lake Mendota. The name actually references the region’s lakes which the event celebrates and supports financially. But, it could just as easily be a reminder that, in Wisconsin, winter itself is an asset.

What other time of year can you sit around a fishing hole and drink beer? Year round, to be fair. It is Wisconsin after all. Several lucky attendees will spend the rest of their winter sipping their brewski or whiskey in style if they are the highest bidder in the inaugural North American Ice Shanty Design & Build. Shanties designed and donated by local companies – including OPN Architects and Ideal Builders — will be on display with opportunities to vote for and bid on the structures.

Outfitted to keep ice fishermen (and women) warm while they wait for the big one to take their bait, the ultimate outdoor experience trailer can also be parked just about anywhere its owner needs instant access to a kegerator, beer fridge, respite from the elements and cozy seating to cuddle up on. Think of it as a man cave on wheels. Has beer, will travel. At one end, upholstered bench seats have views of a 50-inch television. Beneath is ample storage for whatever fishing (or party) gear you may need. At the other end, a bar offers space for enough hotdish to make the church ladies swoon. Within reach is the stainless steel kegerator with several taps and an under the counter stainless steel fridge for sustenance (or more beer). And of course, at the center of it all is the stainless steel fishing hole with a glass window looking down to the watery depths.

The transformation of this Avion trailer from mid-century camper into a modern outdoor retreat took place between November 2015 and January 2016. Fondly referred to as OLAF throughout the process, the team will leave final naming rights to the camper’s new (and let’s be honest) lucky, owner.

In addition to OPN and Ideal Builders, Faith Technologies Inc, Livesey Paint, Klein Dickert Glass, Enterprise Lighting & Control, ZD Ventures, Floor360, WI Distributors, Gallagher Tent & Awning, Elite A/V & Automation LLC, Cummins NPower LLC, and Rippe Keane have donated time and services to the project.

The outdoor retreat is up for auction throughout the month. All proceeds from the auction will support the Clean Lakes Alliance.

The second annual festival includes skating, kids’ games, ice fishing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, hockey slap shot, free hot chocolate and an ice science lab. There will be special exhibitions by Olympic gold-medal speedskater Casey FitzRandolph, the Madison Figure Skating Association, Central Midwest Ballet and the Children’s Theatre of Madison.