Entries tagged as 'Flatpak House'
A FlatPak designed by architect Charlie Lazor has just come on the market in California.
model: Wolfback Ridge FlatPak
designer: Lazor Office
size: 4,200 sf
Hat tip: Contemporist on June 23, 2009.
We covered many informative websites on prefab and modular homes last year. A few of our favorite posts:
MocoLoco fills in the blanks:
"Amy's is the first production model, which took almost two years since kinks had to be worked out as the manufacturing process went along. Despite being the guinea pigs for the Flatpak experience, the final product is all that Goodwin hoped for and more."
Jetson Green took a look:
"I really like how the house is tucked into the enveloping landscape, almost camouflaged from the entry way."
company: Lazor Office
how: pre-cut frame, infill panels
One year ago, Kiplinger's Personal Finance featured an article on Fabulous Prefabs.
"The couple wanted to keep a lid on building costs, but they did not want to sacrifice great design and solid construction. They met both goals with a two-story modern built by Alchemy Architects, in St. Paul. 'During the day we have a lake view from 8-foot windows,' says Scott. 'But when we close the curtains at night, the living room is chic enough to feel like a New York City apartment.'The article also outlines some key differences between panelized and modular construction:
The McGlassons' hideaway -- with two bedrooms, one bathroom and tons of personality -- is a prefabricated home. The components were assembled in a factory, trucked to their lot and put together....
Scott and Lisa paid $95,000 for their second home. They chose the layout of the first story from a half-dozen of Alchemy Architects' plans and added a second story to the blueprints, expanding the size to 780 square feet. The firm hired a Wisconsin factory to manufacture the house's components, a process that took about six weeks. The components were trucked from the factory on a flatbed, and a crane helped assemble them (delivery and crane costs ran $6,000). The McGlassons hired contractors to connect the house's wiring to the electrical grid, dig a well and do other finishing work. The final tally was about $160,000, including fixtures and appliances."
"Panelized houses are made of sections stuffed with wiring and insulation. The panels are trucked to your lot, where contractors hired by you (or less commonly, by the prefab firm) join them together. Panelized houses tend to cost more than modular ones. But because the panels can be arranged in different ways, panelized houses can have custom options....Kiplinger's included a slideshow that covers several companies we've covered here:
The flexibility of a panelized house makes it superior for building on mountain, beach and lakefront locations, which tend to have more quirks than the typical suburban lot....
The major limitation of modular houses is size: Modular units must be able to travel down highways. 'We have to do a lot of thinking within the box,' jokes Joseph Tanney, a partner at Resolution: 4 Architecture, a New York firm that builds prefab homes using modular and other methods. What's more, modular houses often need thicker-than-usual interior walls to ensure that they will withstand the stress of being lifted onto your lot by a crane. (Panelized homes don't face this problem.) These thicker walls reduce the number of floor plans because there are only so many ways the fatter walls can be disguised."
• Alchemy Architects
• Lazor Office
• EcoSteel (aka EcoContempo)
• Taalman Koch
• Resolution: 4 Architecture
• Rocio Romero.
Title: Fabulous Prefabs
Author: Sean O-Neill
Publication: Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Length: 1,500 words
Date: July, 2006
Tour locations to date:
Vancouver Art Gallery
Yale School of Architecture
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Design Center
what: Some Assembly Required Exhibit
when: June 15 - September 30, 2007
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.
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