Yes, now that we've successfully taken the plexi front off K2's Juddy bed, I've been thinking about bunk beds more. But no, I did not plan to make it Awesome & Unobtainable Bunk Bed Week around here.
And yet, it's hard to resist when DT commenter Christopher links to the beautiful, modular bed/crib/bunk/loft system that Munich designer Peter Orinsky makes at Billi Bolli.
Billi Bolli's beds are constructed from sets of solid wood beams--beech, pine or spruce, raw or in various finishes--and can be ordered in a huge variety of configurations. Which can, in turn, be adapted using conversion sets.
I thought I'd at least go through the catalogue and count the number of possible configurations and options, but I gave up: there are cribs, twin cribs, crib+bunk, crib+loft, double bunks, triple bunks, quad bunks [!], bunks for pitched roofs, turrets, rope swings [!], cranes, slides, desks, train- & castle-shaped panels, and on and on. Co-sleeper-style nursing beds are their own thing.
The cribs are what blow my mind: three-sided, against-the-wall structures that look like honest-to-goodness, kid-sized, productized versions Ken Isaacs' Living Structures. Or non-fugly Gridbeamers. Or sturdier, more flexible versions of Bruno Munari's Abitacolo bed/racks.
The catch? Oh, from here, it looks like just about every porthole opening or ladder rung is sized to catch a kid's neck, but they can't be, right? Orinsky's been building these things since 1991 and repeatedly touts their inherent safety, especially their safety rails and fall heights. It's not clear whether the 1000+ beds he sells/year go through Germany's rigorous TUV safety testing program, either, but they're clearly not designed or tested to meet the CPSC's bunk bed regulations. So there is all that.
And then there's the cost [EUR1200-1500 for basic bunks] and the shipping [who knows?], which they'll happily arrange; they apparently send huge piles of lumber around the world through the mail on a regular basis. And don't forget, EU mattresses are different dimensions.
But if you manage to overcome the configuration complexity, the regulatory issues, the cost and the shipping, you're still faced with the dilemma that always haunts resolutely functionalist, modern design: the seemingly irresistible urge to cruft it up with decorations, doodads, and fanciful fabric canopies. Scroll through the Billi Bolli customer photo gallery, and you can count the Sprockets on one hand. You have been warned.
Billi Bolli: The Adventure Bed system [billi-bolli.com]
Update: At the request of Billi Bolli, the original images accompanying this post have been replaced with watermarked versions.