Three years out from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's safe to say society at large is still adapting to a changed world. Among other adjustments, work-life balance has been reassessed throughout much of North America and it's clear that the old business as usual is being reimagined by many. Start-up Find Sanctuary is one of them.
The company hopes to recalibrate the balance between on- and off-grid living and work with a new getaway site in Big Bear, California, set to open in mid-late 2023. There, a campus of 40 prefab micro cabins and nature-surrounded office units will welcome individuals and small office teams to reconnect with nature while staying tuned into the demands of everyday life with modern amenities like high-speed wifi and crisp cell service.
Founder and CEO Charlie Hammond conceived Find Sanctuary in response to his own mental health struggles. "A five-year stint in London left me disconnected and unhappy," Hammond explained. "It was there I realized the natural world had transitioned for me from a ‘nice to have’ to a necessity for my operating state and wellbeing." After moving to Los Angeles, the Australia native reconnected with nature by spending time outside each morning, whether it was a surf session or a simple 10-minute walk, and noticed a positive shift as a result. "There's really nothing like the outdoors to shift perspective and keep life’s problems in check," he notes.
But he also recognized that completely retreating into nature to detach from busy work schedules, the responsibilities of everyday life, and those who may rely on your communication is simply not possible for some folks. So, he founded Find Sanctuary as a place to do both.
Find Sanctuary's first campus will consist of livable tiny cabins and office units manufactured by Drop Structures with interiors by Narrative Design Studio. Inside each 322-square-foot cabin, there's a California King bed, a fully equipped kitchen, a wood stove, a bar-style dining table, and a luxury rain shower in the bathroom, while a small loft area accessed by a ladder contains a reading nook with a queen-size Japanese tatami mattress. A built-in desk, paired with high-speed internet, provides an ideal working space overlooking the surrounding mountains.
For post-workday relaxation, an outdoor area features a spacious deck with a sunken soaking tub, a fire pit, and a meditation rock.
The cabins will feature running water and electricity powered by public utilities along with on-site wells and solar panels. A private cell tower and wi-fi network will be installed to keep guests connected throughout the campus.
Elsewhere, the office units reflect a similar exterior language as the dwelling unit, with minimal interiors designed to foster collaboration over one central table. Designed to accommodate a group of 10, a large picture window and skylight keep nature in sight (and everyone calm), during brainstorming sessions.
Although Find Sanctuary is not yet open, the company is testing a pilot cabin through limited bookings for feedback on design and experience. They're not leaving the results up to subjectivity either—cortisol levels are swiped to analyze stress levels before and after each stay. The company plans to expand to New York and San Francisco next.
Once open, Find Sanctuary's cabins will rent for $400/night.