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 Entries tagged as 'Empyrean'

Dwell on Design 2008 recap

Link to Dwell on Design 2008 recap
dwell.com

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.

Marmol Radziner shared some details on their blog. They rolled out the new Rincon 5 at the show:

The 660 square foot Rincon 5 is the largest of our new series of single module accessory buildings. The Rincon 5 is designed to be used as a guest house, office, or vacation retreat.

Apartment Therapy posted their thoughts, with a slideshow.

One of the most popular (and cramped) exhibits was the 1000 sq. ft. HOM shotgun style pre-fab house. Personally our favourite of the homes showcased.

We'll cover HOM in more detail soon. Until then, Jetson Green provided some info:

Of the three models that HOM plans for production, the (smaller) 1000 sf design was exhibited throughout the weekend in LA. HOM designs cost in the $200 psf range, which calculates to approximately $200,000 for a 1000 sf house....

One interesting aspect of these manufactured homes is that they're characterized under the federal HUD code for manufactured housing. Similar to the modern designs we see with miniHome, HOM homes have an axle and wheels that are disguised by skirting and decking.

(For reference: our info_smallminiHome 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!

Related Posts:
   1. Dwell on Design 2009 at the end of June (Jun 19, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE (May 23, 2008)
   3. Dwell on Design recap (Sep 24, 2007)
   4. Dwell on Design preview (Sep 12, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Marmol Radziner Dwell on Design Modern Cabana Hive Modular tours Dwell MKD pieceHomes conference kitHAUS Empyrean

Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE

Link to Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE
http://www.dwell.com/peopleplaces/conferences/14292127.html

Dwell Magazine's third Dwell On Design conference and exhibition is coming to the Los Angeles Convention Center June 5-8.

June 5th and 6th will feature conference sessions on a wide range of topics. On June 6 Michael Sylvester of fabprefab will host a session on "Systems Building and Prefab." Speakers include:

The public exhibition opens June 7th (emphasis added):

Everything you ever wanted to know about modern design in one very big place: 200+ exhibitors, an entire neighborhood of full-scale pre-fab structures completely landscaped and furnished by Dwell. Plus you'll get hands-on, actionable advice and information from architects, designers and other trade professionals.

Prefab companies that are listed as exhibiting include:

If you're interested in attending, you can register for the exhibition FREE; just enter the code "BDODEC".

where: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA
when: Conference: June 5-6, 2008; Exhibition: June 7-8, 2008
sponsor: Dwell Magazine
registration: $25 for exhibition only (FREE with the code "BDODEC"), $349 for full conference and exhibition

Related Posts:
   1. Dwell on Design 2009 at the end of June (Jun 19, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design 2008 recap (Jun 11, 2008)
   3. This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more (Jun 07, 2008)
   4. Dwell on Design recap (Sep 24, 2007)
   5. Dwell on Design Conference (Aug 15, 2007)
   6. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Marmol Radziner Modern Cabana Hive Modular tours MKD pieceHomes conference kitHAUS Empyrean

The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom

Link to The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom
http://www.mercurynews.com/homeandgarden/ci_8982600?nclick_check=1

We've covered the Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley before; here's a new story about the home from the San Jose Mercury News:

The 2,400-square-foot house was built in panels by manufacturer Empyrean at its factory in Acton, Mass., shipped to the Bay Area and assembled on-site. It incorporates energy-efficient technology and sustainable materials and is the seventh in a series called the NextHouse; the project has been a collaboration with San Francisco-based Dwell magazine, which has 12 more under way across the country.

Lots of people think prefab equals one-size-fits-all.

"Prefab is somewhere in the middle between the builder home, which is like a pair of jeans that's made for the average person, and the custom home, which is like a couture item," says Sam Grawe, editor in chief at Dwell, which has been promoting modern prefab architecture since its debut more than seven years ago.

"Prefab gives you the opportunity to design your own home but also has the efficiencies of the builder's model."

subtitle: Modern designs show the new face of factory-built houses
author: Holly Hayes
publication: San Jose Mercury News
length: 1,100 words
publication date: April 19, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article Empyrean NextHouse

Empyrean International launches new website

Link to Empyrean International launches new website
empyreanint.com

Modular builder info_smallEmpyrean International has launched a new website. We've previously covered their Acorn and Deck Houses and discussed their info_smallDwell NextHouse at length.

The new site features much improved navigation and more detailed information:

Speaking of Empyrean, the Silicon Valley NextHouse was open to visitors last week. Interior designer Sally Kuchar was there and shared stories and photos on her sallyTV blog.

Related Posts:
   1. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
   2. Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House (Nov 16, 2007)
   3. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours Empyrean Dwell website NextHouse event

Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30

Link to Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30
www.dwell.com/homes/dwellhomes/siliconvalley/16260026.html

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:

  • Joel Turkel, Designer of the NextHouse
  • Sally Kuchar, Interior Designer for the Dwell Home: Silicon Valley
  • Michael Sylvester, of fabprefab
  • Jhaelen Eli, consulting designer to Empyrean

Can't make it? Or want a preview? Jetson Green found this entertaining video tour from interior designer Sally Kuchar:

model: info_smallNextHouse
manufacturer: info_smallEmpyrean
where: Mountain View, CA
when: March 27, 9am - 6pm (trade)
when: March 29-30, 10am - 6pm (consumer)

Related Posts:
   1. The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom (May 01, 2008)
   2. Empyrean International launches new website (Apr 07, 2008)
   3. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours Empyrean Dwell NextHouse

Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House

Link to Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House

We've previously discussed info_smallEmpyrean International in relation to the modernist info_smallNextHouse. Empyrean also offers two other styles:

Deck House and Acorn both feature open plans, walls of glass, and soaring volume spaces. Both are custom designed for the customer and the site.

The Deck House product features post and beam construction, with exposed Douglas fir beams, wooden ceilings, mahogany windows and trim work....The gently sloping roofs of Deck House feature large overhangs that often give the house a very Prairie or Craftsman style appearance.

Acorns are modified post and beam houses, but most of the structure is not exposed. Featuring expansive walls of Pella windows, steep roofs, and traditional interior trim themes; the interior surfaces in an Acorn are more often painted for a sparkling interior. Acorn exteriors draw on the best of American architectural traditions, updated with superb contemporary detailing.....

The typical price range of both brands is $200 - $250 per square foot.

Empyrean designs each house individually; homeowners can choose to modify an existing floorplan or start from scratch.

The company has been building prefabs since the 1960's. From the Empyrean site:

Deck House, Inc., was founded in 1959 by William Berkes, a graduate of Harvard University School of Design. Having pioneered other building systems, he founded Deck House, Inc. in order to provide top quality post and beam houses to upscale professional families...

Acorn Structures was founded in 1947 by MIT architect, John Bemis, another pioneer in the science of pre-engineering technology and custom design. As a renowned leader in energy conservation and active solar designs, the Acorn product become widely recognized in the 1980's as a "thinking person's" custom home, with the company's architecture relating to several traditional American architectural idioms, while still being devoted to energy efficient design...

In 1995, Deck House, Inc. acquired Acorn, and the two companies consolidated their manufacturing and corporate facilities into a combined 150,000 square foot facility.

model: Deck House
style: traditional, post and beam

model: Acorn
style: traditional

Related Posts:
   1. Empyrean International launches new website (Apr 07, 2008)
   2. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model method manufacturer Empyrean company NextHouse

Dwell on Design preview

Link to Dwell on Design preview
dwell.com

The Dwell on Design conference is this weekend in San Francisco.

We won't be there, but here's who will:
info_smallAlchemy Architects
info_smallEcoSteel, aka EcoContempo
info_smallEmpyrean International
info_smallH-Haus
info_smallHive Modular
info_smallMichelle Kaufmann
info_smallkitHAUS
info_smallLivingHomes
info_smallModern Cabana
info_smallRocio Romero Homes

We heard from Alchemy Architects:

"Alchemy Architects will be at Dwell on Design 2007 with a weeHouse to 'tour'. Amazing, but we had a CA client who's weeHouse is just being finished...so it'll stop in San Fran on its way to San Diego. It's a very exciting opportunity for people who are interested in a weeHouse to see a weeHouse. We'll be in the outdoor, prefab section."

We know these vendors won't be attending:
info_smallCleverHomes
info_smallv2world

Some prefab-specific events that will be worth checking out:
• September 15 and 16, 2:45 - 3:15: "Prefab Discussion Panel" hosted by Michael Sylvester of fabprefab.com
• September 15, 2:00 - 2:30: "The Process Behind Prefab:The Design and Production of Green Modular Homes" with Jared Levy and Jason Davis of info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab
• September 15, 3:30 - 4:00: "Creating the First LEED Platinum Home" with Steve Glenn of info_smallLivingHomes

what: Dwell on Design conference
where: Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA
when: September 14-16, 2007
registration: $20 for Exhibition Only pass, September 15-16. $895 for full conference and exhibition passport.
features: over 80 exhibitors and vendors

Related Posts:
   1. Dwell on Design 2009 at the end of June (Jun 19, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design 2008 recap (Jun 11, 2008)
   3. Dwell on Design recap (Sep 24, 2007)
   4. Dwell on Design Conference (Aug 15, 2007)
   5. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse model CleverHomes method kitHAUS LivingHomes OMD v2world v2flat Muji small LEED green tours Empyrean Alchemy Architects H-Haus Modern Cabana Rocio Romero Dwell on Design EcoSteel

Prefab is not a fad

Link to Prefab is not a fad
slate.com

Yesterday we covered a slideshow essay at Slate that criticized the current "prefab fad." Rybczynski has a 3 part indictment:

"unpopular, expensive and divorced from industrial production".
We're not sure whether he's paying attention.

As for "unpopular", Modernist homes (prefab or otherwise) are aimed at a specific audience:

"Where are all these people who live in cool lofts and spaces in the city supposed to go when they move to the country? They certainly don't want to go live in a colonial-style house." (Robert Luntz of Resolution: 4, quoted in Builder Online)

It's unlikely that modernist prefab will sweep away the dominant preference for traditional homes. But it could easily become a profitable (self-sustaining) niche. Our favorite example is the one that we (Peter and Scott) are using to create and edit this post: the Macintosh still has less than 10% overall market share but represents a thriving business that continues to dominate several niche markets.

Prefab doesn't just mean modernist, e.g. info_smallHive Modular offers a (mostly) traditional facade, info_smallEmpyrean's Deck House and Acorn are classic "post and beam", and the "traditional" modular housing industry is growing.

The current crop of prefab architects want to make "good design" more affordable.

"Most architects working in prefab are trying to create standard designs, to reduce the cost and risk to the client, and bring the services of talented architects to smaller houses." (Lloyd Alter on Treehugger, quoted in May)
"While her first customers tended to fit the stereotype of the Prius-driving, NPR-listening eco-consumer, Kaufmann is increasingly fielding inquiries from people who just want an attractive, affordable house." (From an article on Michelle Kaufmann in July.)

Last point: prefab is not "divorced from industrial production". Many of the companies we cover have built their own factories and most others are working closely with existing factories

Has the prefab industry achieved its goals? No. Is it headed in the right direction? We think so.

Related Posts:
   1. NPR interviews Slate's prefab skeptic (Nov 01, 2007)
   2. Slate: The Prefab Fad (Aug 27, 2007)
7 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model method modular Empyrean Hive Modular

This week: prefab concepts, debate, and more

Link to This week: prefab concepts, debate, and more

Equity Green discussed Hybrid Seattle, a prefab company building homes from shipping containers. They also showed off the ATC cabin, a prefab concept from Canada.

A blog simply called "House" covered the Empyrean info_smallNextHouse blog, we've talked about before.

Preston at Jetson Green showed off the Ideabox Prefab:

"Ideabox offers a pretty cool product in the modern, prefabricated housing industry. Ideabox emphasizes good design, not square footage, and they make it easy to do."
He also wrote about the JoT House.

The author at ColumbusING tried to spark debate about prefab:

"Can it be a viable solution? Over the past 10 years the country and for that matter Columbus has been inundated with the "cookie cutter" type of residential building, which has paved the way for convenient and affordable living for some and in the mind of others, has created a perception of architectural character digust. So where does that put Prefab houses?"

A New Zealand blog, Sneak, discovered the WIRED Living Home.

PrairieMod mentioned the blog at A Prefab Project:

"It's an interesting mix of photos, thoughts and information that anyone who dreams of going prefab will find very enlightening."

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday wrote about the PLACE Houses, a new prefab concept. We'll cover those in more depth soon.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday examined a student housing project made from containers.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Ideabox, Method Homes, and unconventional (Jul 26, 2008)
   2. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers Empyrean school This Week website NextHouse

Empyrean and the NextHouse

Link to Empyrean and the NextHouse
www.thedwellhomesbyempyrean.com

info_smallEmpyrean designer Joel Turkel has provided his own take on modernist prefab for the Dwell Homes. All three sizes of the info_smallEmpyrean 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.

size: 2,728sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 1,372sf
bedrooms: 3
bathrooms: 2.5

size: 3,100sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 2,070sf
bedrooms: 4
bathrooms: 2.5

size: 3,117sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 2,109sf
bedrooms: 4
bathrooms: 3

All models feature:
primary materials: wood siding, wood windows, wood decking

In addition to the new Dwell Homes line, Empyrean has more traditional options in their product line. Look for a post on those soon!

Articles and blog posts about the homes from Empyrean: A great site tracking the progress of a model NextHouse. And a similar blog that follows the construction of the first NextHouse.

Related Posts:
   1. Empyrean International launches new website (Apr 07, 2008)
   2. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
   3. Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House (Nov 16, 2007)
   4. This week: prefab concepts, debate, and more (Aug 25, 2007)
   5. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model manufacturer modular Empyrean Dwell modern NextHouse

The Dwell Home by Resolution 4: Architecture

Link to The Dwell Home by Resolution 4: Architecture
www.thedwellhomesbyempyrean.com

info_smallResolution 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 info_smallDwell Home. All of the designs feature wood siding and plenty of windows in modern, rectilinear designs.

size: 2,635sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 3,101sf
bedrooms: 3
bathrooms: 3

size: 1,354sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 1,356sf
bedrooms: 3
bathrooms: 2

size: 2,044sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 932sf
bedrooms: 3
bathrooms: 2.5

All models feature:
primary materials: wood siding, metal roof, metal windows, wood decking

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.

Related Posts:
   1. Resolution: 4 in East Hampton (Sep 17, 2007)
   2. Wall Street Journal: modern modular (Aug 09, 2007)
   3. Resolution: 4 videos on YouTube (Jun 14, 2007)
   4. This week: LOT-EK returns, a prefab for Second Lifers, and more (May 05, 2007)
   5. The Dwell Home II and the Green Sandwich (Apr 30, 2007)
   6. This week: IKEA goes prefab, mountain retreats, and a prefab high-rise (Apr 21, 2007)
   7. Lazor Office's FlatPak House (Apr 19, 2007)
   8. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model modular Empyrean Dwell Resolution 4: Architecture modern Dwell Home Dwell prefab

Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes

Link to Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes
www.dwell.com

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, info_smallResolution 4: Architecture, and a second company, info_smallLazor Office, were chosen to design modernist prefab homes to be built by info_smallEmpyrean. 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:

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

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE (May 23, 2008)
   3. Dwell on Design preview (Sep 12, 2007)
   4. Dwell on Design Conference (Aug 15, 2007)
   5. Wall Street Journal: modern modular (Aug 09, 2007)
   6. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
   7. The Dwell Home II and the Green Sandwich (Apr 30, 2007)
   8. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
   9. Lazor Office's FlatPak House (Apr 19, 2007)
   10. The Dwell Home by Resolution 4: Architecture (Apr 18, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Empyrean Dwell Flatpak House Lazor Office Resolution 4: Architecture Dwell Home NextHouse
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