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Who says an RV needs to look like a metallic jellybean? Certainly not Brian and Joni Buzarde. The husband-and-wife co-owners and design masterminds behind Land Ark are inviting travelers to hit the road towing a haven of sophisticated home design.
It all started in 2011 with a trailer named Woody. “My background is in architectural design and Joni’s is in marketing with an interest in interior design,” Brian says. “Neither of us had construction experience.” But that lack of carpentry skills didn’t deter the ambitious pair from building their first RV, with help from friends and family. “We massively underestimated the project from the start,” Brian says. “It turned out extremely DIY and some things never quite worked right.”
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Nonetheless, they moved into their cedar-clad test lab and began to make a life, relocating from Texas to Colorado, where they parked Woody for three years at the Aspen-Basalt campground. “We got a 24/7/365 crash course in building and living in something that size,” Brian says. “We knew we had something, and the long-term goal for us was always to learn from the experience and eventually create a business.” When a campground neighbor compared Woody to Noah’s ark, the idea for a company name was born.
“We realized we’re indeed building arks: moveable shelters or refuges that encapsulate the necessities (and more) while you travel through life,” Brian says. “They’re also large, heavy, and more substantial than standard travel trailers.” The Buzardes embrace the oddball charm of their new creations. “Lots of RV companies use ethereal words that have to do with aviation,” Brian says. “A Land Ark is somewhat the opposite of that.”
Brian, Joni, and their two kids had a chance to evaluate which floor plans and design features worked best before incorporating those innovations directly into their next generation of homes. Laundry facilities ranked high on their wish list, so units now come with a washer/dryer combo. “Some of the constants (beyond functional systems) are lots of natural light, a minimal material palette, adequate storage, and the feeling of spaciousness,” Brian says.
Professionally built in a Rifle, Colorado, workshop, Land Ark exteriors are mostly black, although some models feature rich wood details. Interiors are clean-lined and neutral, with high ceilings and whitewashed pine surfaces. “The outside is stark and defined, and black blends in great in most surroundings,” Brian notes. “The inside is calming and meant to let your eyes relax—it makes it feel larger.”
Given the space constraints, lighting is a key consideration for the designers. “We’re big fans of indirect cove lighting and LED strips,” Brian says. “We want to get away from having visible fixtures.” Bathrooms offer a window for natural light, and a window above the kitchen sink is a common theme, along with undermounted sinks and separate cooktops and ovens. Clients often request main-level bedrooms, solar energy systems, and off-grid capabilities. Brian explains, “The key is to fit everything required while keeping it visually light.”
With prices for their various Land Ark models—from the sleeps-three Quatro to the deluxe Draper—ranging from $150,000 to $205,000, who is climbing aboard this elevated RV trend? “We attract a broad range of customers from high-net-worth individuals needing an out-of-the-box solution to glamping companies needing nightly rentals,” Brian says. “We also occasionally get customers who live full-time in their Ark, like military servicemen assigned to an on-base RV slip.”
So, what’s rolling out of the Land Ark workshop next? The intrepid Buzarde family is set to launch a sister company to build modular homes on fixed foundations, and new, more aerodynamic travel trailers are already in the works. “They will be much lighter, have robust off-grid systems, cool kinetic architecture, and basically everything we ourselves want out of a unit that’s meant to function as a road warrior,” Brian says. “We plan to take our kids on a great U.S. tour in the prototype.”