Entries tagged as 'Dwell'
The February 2009 issue of Dwell Magazine featured a modular home in Lost River, Virginia.
model: Lost River Modern
designer: Resolution 4 Architecture
manufacturer: Simplex Homes
size: 1,900 sf
Worth a look: slideshow of 7 pictures.
Note: The house was built in 2007 - 2008. The owners tracked the entire process via their blog: A PreFab Project. Check out our related posts for more information.
Title: Take Me Home
Subtitle: A “tree house” of clean lines, ample glass, and thoughtful ingenuity lets a Washington, DC–area family and a stream of weekend guests enjoy prefab living in an unlikely locale: just outside Lost River, West Virginia.
Author: Jeremy Berlin
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Section: My House
Length: 816 words
Date: February 2009
Hat tip: Apartment Therapy on August 7, 2009.
View their slideshow.
Title: A Northern Haven
Subtitle: North Haven, a rocky island in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, is quintessentially New England. As it happens, so is this boat barn–inspired brand of rugged, regional modernism.
Author: Aaron Britt
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Length: 1,423 words
Date: July/August 2009
The February 2009 issue of Dwell Magazine featured a concrete prefab in Switzerland by architect Felix Oesch.
Read the entire article and view a slideshow containing 11 pictures of the home.
Title: Swiss Mix
Subtitle: Built for a young family of Spartan-minded clients, architect Felix Oesch's spare, concrete prefab outside of Zurich is a marvel of clean living.
Author: Grant Gibson
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Length: 1,384 words
Date: February 2009
We weren't able to attend this year's Dwell on Design show in LA, so we'll just do a recap from afar.
Dwell's student blogger Jose Garcia interviewed Michelle Kaufmann.
Curbed LA gave a rundown of the prefab neighborhood with a slideshow and commentary.
Apartment Therapy posted their thoughts, with a slideshow.
We'll cover HOM in more detail soon. Until then, Jetson Green provided some info:
(For reference: our miniHome page.)
This year's prefab exhibitors:
Absent from the show, but present last year:
If you visited the show, please leave your impressions in a comment!
The new site features much improved navigation and more detailed information:
Yesterday, Dwell magazine announced an open house:
Modern prefab has arrived in Mountain View, CA in the form of a progressive single-family home -- the Dwell NextHouse by Empyrean. ... A unique opportunity to tour the 2,400 sq ft prefabricated home will be available.... Dwell invites attendees to become engaged in a dialogue about modern and prefab home design.
Their site has a schedule and information on the speakers:
Can't make it? Or want a preview? Jetson Green found this entertaining video tour from interior designer Sally Kuchar:
where: Mountain View, CA
when: March 27, 9am - 6pm (trade)
when: March 29-30, 10am - 6pm (consumer)
how: Open House Tickets
From the Dwell blog:
The Consumer Electronics Show may have the flashiest booths of any trade gathering in the world. .... So imagine my relief when I saw a modest prefab home built at the far end of one of the main halls. .... It was built inside the convention center for Olevia, a company that makes energy efficient televisions.
MocoLoco provided more details:
...the exhibit at CES represents the first built prototype.and quotes an email from Michael Sylvester of Fabprefab fame:
The house has modern lines and a long cantilevered roof - you can hardly see that this home is based on the adaptive re-use of two forty foot cargo containers.
Inhabitat liked the prototype:
...the stunning shipping container prefab definitely caught our eye.
The line of homes is based on the architect's Redondo Beach House:
The traditional design, permit and construction process, compounded by skyrocketing construction costs, has necessitated a re-birth of the design/build approach to creating Architecture.... This project is a Recycled Steel Shipping Container based building that also employs a combination of conventional stick frame construction and prefabricated assemblies. These materials result in an end product that is affordable and nearly indestructable. The modified containers are mold proof, fire proof, termite proof, structurally superior to wood framing and along with various other “components” come together to create a system/kit of parts that is predicated on cost savings, construction timesavings, and energy/environmentally conscious priorities....
CNN covered the Redondo Beach Home in 2006:
(Hat tip: Treehugger commented.)
We weren't at Dwell on Design last weekend, but a lot of others were.
"Michelle Kaufmann, meanwhile, still speaking as I type this, is introducing everyone to green roofs, rainwater catchment, passive/active solar energy systems, and the relatively streamlined construction process involved in assembling one of her projects. She even, briefly, touched on issues of affordability (or the lack thereof)."
The Dwell on Design Conference will hit San Francisco in September, right before the West Coast Green building conference. Dwell on Design "is an idea-driven, hands-on experience designed to ignite a creative spark within anyone who is passionate about modern design, sustainability, and smart growth."
"This year's Dwell on Design Conference will highlight the ingenuity and commitment of people who are building community on a number of fronts, each with an emphasis on modern design, sustainability and smart growth. Speakers and panelists will offer their stories and in-depth knowledge of projects that range from single-family dwellings to multi-family, multi-generational housing to large-scale initiatives in urban planning and community development."
No official schedule has yet been released for the event, but we've heard from a few prefab vendors that they will be on hand showcasing their products.
what: Dwell on Design
where: Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA
when: September 14-16, 2007
sponsor: Dwell Magazine
registration: $20 for Exhibition Only pass, September 15-16. $275 before August 21 for a Basic pass, $895 for full conference and exhibition passport.
features: over 80 exhibitors and vendors
"I would really like to see an affordable, attractive and modern prefab house come on to the market. As much as I love all these designs, the price just puts it outside the realm of possibility for us and most other people."
"Years ago, I had no concept of the words 'prefab housing' meant. I thought that it was a fancy euphemism for what we call a trailer home, or doublewide. This is until I had heard the words 'Rocio Romero' and the 'LV Home' mentioned in an article."Read the whole thing (875 words).
Collin Dunn unleashes the snark (and wild exaggeration, e.g. "99.99%") on Treehugger's blog at the Sundance Channel, with several links to prefab coverage on Treehugger.com.
Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covers the perrinepod, which we'll look at in more detail shortly.
"Despite a thriving New York practice whose clients include trendy ad agencies and rich people with gaping lofts...Resolution: 4 Architecture has poured itself into a series of designs for manufactured modules that can be combined into three- or four-dozen modern homes. All are striking departures from the choices available to most home buyers today, and all, at least theoretically, are buildable in a factory for something like the price of the banal tract homes gobbling up farmland across America....Read the full article for details on Resolution 4: Architecture and their dreams for prefab.
Nobody sneers at a Lexus because it came off an assembly line. But for some reason modular houses still carry a stigma, which may be why 97% of new American homes are built on site by hand when almost everything else -- cars, clothing, even many foods -- comes from a factory. Yet the quality of modular houses has improved dramatically in recent years even as the quality of traditionally built homes remains mired in mediocrity. When it comes to housing, low construction standards, haste and ever-more-scarce skilled labor have given new meaning to the axiom 'they don't make them like they used to.'"
Title: The Very Model of a Modern Modular House
Author: Daniel Akst
Publication: The Wall Street Journal
Length: 1,030 words
Date: May 29, 2003
Resolution: 4 has posted three videos of the company's houses on YouTube, including the following video of the factory process (3:40):
"...the exhibition features eight modern modular house projects that have recently been realized. The designs address a range of approaches to prefabrication, including off-site construction, customized sections that are assembled on-site, and kits with plans and parts from which a house can be constructed."
Ecorazzi says "...you can see scale models of prefab homes, pictures, and samples of materials. Architects Marmol Radziner Prefab, Lazor, and Alchemy Architects are showcased..."
what: Some Assembly Required Exhibit
where: MOCA at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles
when: February 28 - May 20, 2007
After the original competition for the Dwell Home was received with so much enthusiasm, Dwell hosted another competition for the Dwell Home II:
"Sustainable building technologies are now part of the design guidelines for everyone from the federal government to private industry. To help push home design in the same direction, Dwell invited five of Los Angeles's top firms to create a sustainable single-family home in Los Angeles."
While the competition didn't require the home to be a prefab design, investigations into green building techniques led the winning architects, Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena, to choose a panelized concrete product, similar to a SIP:
"North Hollywood-based Green Sandwich Technologies. Green Sandwich manufactures what they describe as 'completely engineered structural concrete insulating panels (SCIPs).' The company goes on to state that their 'Green Sandwich Building System is the "greenest" structural building product available in the United States,' with every aspect of the system, from panel manufacturing to panel erection, engineered so the products generate the least amount of waste, fuel consumption, and environmental disruption."The panelized system is much less pre-fab than some of the modular methods out there, but some characteristics are worth noting:
• integrated utility chases
• can be built in approximately half the time of conventional stick-built construction
• an unlimited number of finishes and design configurations
• transfer about 66% less noise than wood-frame or steel-framed walls See the company's website for more detailed information on the system.
The competition took place in 2004; since then, the homeowners and Escher GuneWardena have been finalizing the design and construction methods as well as navigating the complicated permitting process:
"Deciding to build a home is usually just the beginning of a bureaucratic maze of city offices, inspectors, and paperwork. Due to the Dwell Home II's unique location, the land falls under the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission, an agency established to 'protect public beach access, wetlands, wildlife on land and in the seas, water quality, scenic vistas, and coastal tourism.'"
Further articles about the house and its progress can be found on Dwell's site.
A new blog called BLUEPRINT New Orleans explores the future of the city's design and culture. Here, Brad Brooks, talks about "prefab's promise" and the Dwell conference:
"While putting together an initial package of videos about new architectural trends in New Orleans, one of the more promising topics of interest was prefab..."
The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story on a prefab home in the area being built from parts from Austria:
"...what ultimately led Pierce and his wife, Peggy, to bring the Thoma Holz100 system to Walnut Creek was the environmental sensibility of using sustainable wood -- in this case, fast- and easy-growing European larch -- in a way that requires no glues, finishes or other chemicals. Various sizes of lumber are layered vertically, horizontally and diagonally to form the solid panels. Then dried wooden dowels are strategically pressed through drilled holes...and expand inside the panels to secure the structure."
Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covers David Adjaye's prefab home in the UK.
"In keeping with the artistic spirit of the community in which this house is being built, the project has been a collaborative experiment between the client, Richard Carlson, and the fabricators using a design/build approach where creative and structural decisions were made as the house was being constructed."
"You know, there are some houses that just make you feel good when you see them. I always see fun in the "weeHouse" designs from Alchemy Architects. I can't believe I haven't done a post on them before. [Their] houses have such a cool vibe."
And so does a blog called Design Mind:
"These days the Weehouse is not so wee, but it started out as the little abode you see here. It was in production in the US early in the prefab boom and now has many design options for a full home. But it's this first model that I still love."
Empyrean designer Joel Turkel has provided his own take on modernist prefab for the Dwell Homes. All three sizes of the Empyrean NextHouse feature wood siding and large windows, with somewhat traditional layouts. According to Business Week:
Empyrean's home, dubbed NextHouse and designed by architect Joel Turkel, centers on a core-like space with a stretch of wall and window that extends through both levels of the house, so someone on the first floor can see up to the second. Despite the openness of the plan, private spaces are tucked into the opposite sides of the central living room. The master bedroom includes a roof deck.
name: The NextHouse 2500
additional square footage (decks, basement): 1,372sf
name: The NextHouse 3100
additional square footage (decks, basement): 2,070sf
name: The NextHouse 3150
additional square footage (decks, basement): 2,109sf
All models feature:
In addition to the new Dwell Homes line, Empyrean has more traditional options in their product line. Look for a post on those soon!
Lazor Office had been experimenting with prefabricated housing techniques for a year before the Dwell Homes competition. While the firm didn't participate in the competition, it was building a prototype of the FlatPak House at the same time. In an exhibit about prefab architecture at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the FlatPak project is explained:
"Charlie Lazor, principal of Minneapolis-based Lazor Office, began his exploration of prefabrication in 2002 through the creation of a home for his family. The resulting prototype — a two-story, three-bedroom, three-bath house with a separate study and guest room — was completed in 2004 and launched the FlatPak series. As the name suggests, the system evokes a do-it-yourself attitude by offering owners a wide range of choices and a hand in the layout of their spaces."
Lazor Office FlatPak also provides three designs for the Dwell Homes. Each sports a stucco/concrete look combined with wood and glass.
name: The FlatPak 3000
additional square footage (decks, basement): 566sf
bedrooms: 3 - 5
name: The FlatPak 1500
additional square footage (decks, basement): 610sf
bedrooms: 1 - 2
name: The Vacation House
additional square footage (decks, basement): 1,695sf
All models feature:
Articles and blog posts about the homes from Lazor Office: The Walker Art Center's catalogue of their "Some Assembly Required" show shares info on Lazor Office. CubeMe offers some pictures and hints on where to see a FlatPak house. Jetson Green shows off Flickr photos of the FlatPak Houses.
Resolution 4: Architecture won the original Dwell Home competition from a pool of 16 competitors. Joseph Tanney, a partner of the firm, commented on the winning entry in 2003:
"Modern Modular offers an option for a modern, affordable home that could aesthetically transform the American domestic landscape. The challenge that lies ahead is execution and implementation. We believe we have the strategy; now we need to execute it — and the Dwell Home offers the perfect opportunity to show that the system works. — from the Dwell Homes site.
Resolution 4: Architecture contributes three homes to the Dwell Homes line, including the winning Dwell Home. All of the designs feature wood siding and plenty of windows in modern, rectilinear designs.
name: The Dwell Home
additional square footage (decks, basement): 3,101sf
name: The Beach House
additional square footage (decks, basement): 1,356sf
name: The Suburban
additional square footage (decks, basement): 932sf
All models feature:
Articles and blog posts about the homes from Resolution 4: Architecture: MocoLoco shares some pictures of the winning entry. Treehugger spreads the news that the original Dwell Home was for sale back in 2005.
Dwell Magazine deserves much credit for the rise of modernist prefab in the past few years. Many of the designers and homes featured on this site first appeared in its pages.
In the manifesto published in the first issue in October 2000, editor Kerrie Jacobs explained the magazine's vision:
"At Dwell, we're staging a minor revolution. We think that it's possible to live in a house or apartment by a bold modern architect, to own furniture and products that are exceptionally well designed, and still be a regular human being. We think that good design is an integral part of real life. And that real life has been conspicuous by its absence in most design and architecture magazines."
In 2003 "Dwell introduced the Dwell Home Design Invitational, a competition for a modern prefab prototype home designed for mass production." A subsequent competition was held for the more environmentally conscious Dwell Home II, but that home's prototype has yet to clear permitting hurdles.
The winner of the original competition, Resolution 4: Architecture, and a second company, Lazor Office, were chosen to design modernist prefab homes to be built by Empyrean. Empyrean has been building homes with prefab methods since 1959; its own designers contributed two designs to the Dwell Homes.
Dwell's (now former) Editor-in-Chief Allison Arieff explained the advantages of such a partnership between designer and manufacturer:
"One of the major obstacles prefab has faced has been effective collaboration among designers, manufacturers, and clients. This exciting partnership brings together experienced parties across that spectrum, all of whom are passionate about and committed to prefab's potential."
We'll cover the designs of the Dwell Homes, and the progress of the greener Dwell Home II, over the next few days.
Some features common to all of the Dwell Homes:
fabricator: Empyrean International, LLC
cost: $175/sf - 250/sf (includes all fees, site work, and finishes)
primary materials: stucco, wood siding, wood windows, wood decking
planning time: "few months"
permitting time: "days to months"
assembly time: "few weeks"
all on-site construction time: 3 - 6 months
construction type: conventional framing, non-modular
funding method: traditional lender
warranty: 10 years on manufactured components
miscellaneous: network of 300 Preferred Builders, customization possible