Jag Virdie started his career with an internship at Rolls-Royce Bentley and has lived by its ethos ever since. For Jag, everything should be designed and manufactured with solid engineering foundations. With this belief, he brings his automotive and aerospace engineering experience to the construction industry.
Everything Jag builds has the final user in mind, allowing him to create efficient designs from the onset. The Conker™ was born in 2015 through the knowledge that a building should be beautiful, aerodynamic, strong and versatile. What first started as a treehouse request by his two children, quickly became an engineering challenge for Jag. He did not want to build something traditional, aiming instead for something different, spherical and that hung naturally from the tree like a conker.
Today, Conker Living’s mission is to build a contemporary, state of the art, desirable environment, which can be adapted and personalised without limitations. A sphere is their natural choice, due to its streamlined and structural properties. All materials are sourced in the UK and the Conker is designed and assembled in Cheshire. One of Jag’s main aims was to make sure the Conker has “rock-solid environmental credentials” which means they are designed to last forever and even harvest water. The Conker is made of aluminium and recycled plastic, with a great heat-recovery system due to its spherical shape.
Images 1 & 3 are of the Conker in its prototype stage.
“I started my career in automotive design and engineering with Rolls-Royce Bentley, had a brief period with Lotus before returning to Bentley and then set up my own freelance design business in 2010, Aesculapius Limited. I thought that as I was doing work for others, coming up with ideas, why don’t I try to design something unique for a wing system for a car, taking the aerospace experience and bringing it to automotive. I redesigned how a wing should work on a car, applied for five patents, showed them to a large British automotive OEM and they immediately said they wanted to buy them from me, so 2020 is the next generation of the sports car and that’s when my wing is going to be on the back of that car”, says Jag.
“The Conker I have built in my house is just the start point of where we want to go. We are looking at smaller ones and much larger ones that will be three bedrooms inside and even a full house, and all the foundation you require is the four legs, so you don’t need to disrupt the ground. Because of the shape of it, there’s no maintenance on the outside and you can even update it when you want by requesting new panels. It’s aerodynamic, doesn’t require any guttering and is the ultimate shape for heat efficiency”, he continues.
Talking of heat efficiency, Jag comments he chose SOLIDWORKS as his only piece of software to design the Conker due to applications such as Flow Simulation and stress analysis.
The price was also attractive to him, being a one-man band at the start, while still juggling his full-time job at Bentley.
From design concept to construction, the Conker takes approximately 12 weeks to completion. Its versatile nature means if can also be used at corporate events, making for the perfect meeting space. They have recently won awards for Best Dressed Trade Stand at Bolesworth International Horse Show, and were present at Bentleys 100th Anniversary celebrations at Silverstone (pictures), with the next event booked by the Bentley Driver’s Club taking place in September at Blenheim Palace.
We will learn more about Conker as we follow Jag and his journey to build us a more sustainable way of living and, let us admit it, a cool one too. Follow our blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch a future interview with Conker Living.
For more information about Conker Living, visit www.conkerliving.com
P.S. If you would like to see for yourself what it’s like to live in a Conker, you can go “glamping” in Wales and stay in the Red Kite Conker. Visit www.chillderness.co.uk to find out more.