Entries tagged as 'OMD'
Andrew Huff of the Kenneth Cole Awearness Blog recently interviewed Jennifer Siegel, founder and principal of Office of Mobile Design (OMD).
USA Network recently named Jennifer Siegel as their 2009 Character Approved honoree for architecture.
Jennifer Siegel founded CA-based Office of Mobile Design (OMD)
Hat tip: Awearness Blog by Kenneth Cole on February 9, 2009.
This month's Conscious Choice, "an enlightened urban lifestyle magazine," examines Prefab 2.0 in a recent article:
(One quibble: the estimate of 100 is only true based on a narrow definition, e.g. modernist prefab built in the last few years. We take a much broader view of prefab.)
The article included several profiles from around the US:
Designer: the homeowner, Chris Conley
Designer: Jennifer Siegal of Office of Mobile Design
Designer: Rocio Romero
New York, New York
Designer: Resolution: 4 Architecture
San Francisco, California
Designer: Michelle Kaufmann
Read the full article for additional details.
title: Prefab 2.0
subtitle: Is prefab housing ready for primetime?
publication: Conscious Choice
author: Heather Boerner
length: 1,500 words
publication date: September 2008
I was away this weekend, so here's last week's prefab news a bit late. (Posted Tuesday, but dated Saturday in line with our "This week" series.)
Materialicio.us noted that the price of the OMD showhouse in Venice has been reduced. The home (without the lot) was originally listed at $295,000, and then reduced to $259,000. Now:
I missed last week, so here is two weeks of prefab news. Daily posts will resume this week; sorry for the gaps!
Last week, Inhabitat's Prefab Friday discussed a unique idea for Olympic stadiums:
Two weeks ago, Inhabitat looked at a container home in New Zealand.
LLoyd Alter, of Treehugger, wrote about green prefab at the Huffington Post:
Treehugger visited the mkSolaire at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry:
Finally, Dwell on Design started yesterday. We'll have a full review of happenings at the show this coming week.
Inhabitat's Prefab Friday reported on a London prefab:
Jetson Green covered an award for the Abōd:
Arch Daily took a look at a home in Ecuador that uses a unique prefabricated concrete block system.
G Living examined student housing made of containers.
We couldn't attend this year's CA Boom show in Los Angeles, so here are a few recaps from others:
Curbed LA took a look at the Modern-Shed booth:
One interesting new [entrant] was ... the itty-bitty Modern Shed and its quaint homemade sale sign in the window: "$15,000 with deck. Free Local Delivery."They also went on a tour of the Red Barn Prefab that we covered previously:
The designer of the home was on site, and gave a brief introductory speech before we started exploring and snapping pictures. The home was built using re-engineered steel, concrete floors (natch) and eco-timber flooring.... The home took nine months to build and actually has a twin next door...
Via Curbed LA:
Designer Jennifer Siegal’s widely published prefab prototype, the OMD ShowHouse, originally priced at $295,000 just last month, gets chopped. It's now down to $259,000.
The real estate listing at TVOA.net ("The Value of Architecture") shows $249,000. Key fact:
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE LAND – UNIT MUST BE TRUCKED TO BUYER’S OWN SITE.
More details on the home are available at the OMD website.
model: OMD ShowHouse
where: Venice, CA
size: 720 sf
price: $259,000 ($360/sf)
These shots, taken last month, show the delivery of a two-story prefabricated home going up in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica. The 2,200 square foot home is comprised of 4 modular units; these shots show the upper two being installed.
We previously showed the Travelpod, an experimental prefab from Travelodge, and thought it was an interesting one-off. We were wrong; the company is looking seriously at prefab hotels and is building their first in the west London district of Uxbridge, right now.
The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday was off this week.
Inhabitat's Prefab Friday made a surprising architectural discovery at the the Consumer Electronics Show. We'll cover that model soon.
If these houses are supposed to be good, somebody should live in them during the show and the people who view the exhibit should be visitors in the houses.
Jaunted provided some new details:
Foundations will be laid in February and the homes will arrive in late May, popping up in next to no time.
The Chicago Tribune predicts:
Given MoMA's taste-making power and its location in the media capital of the world, the show could go a long way toward making prefab housing something more than just a glimmer in visionaries' eyes.
greenbuildingsNYC is excited. The Gothamist commented, as did Curbed. Treehugger mentioned the show. The Chronicle of Higher Education likes the idea that professors' work will be included in the show.
The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday posted a recap of 2007.
Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered the German 'Option House':
Option is a fully functional, light-filled dwelling that delivers low-impact living in just 70 square meters [753 sf] of elegant and understated space.
...an amazing example of how you can change the natural environment...
Jetson Green showed a video of a not-yet-built container home:
Looks pretty cool, but let's see if it gets made...
Slated to begin production early next year, the exact location of the house is being kept secret. All we have at this stage are some specs: three bedrooms and 2,800 interior square footage with a 750 square foot deck.
If Jennifer Siegal has her way, new homes won't be constructed anymore. They'll be installed.
Read the full article for details.
Author: Jeff Spurrier
Publication: Los Angeles Times
Length: 750 words
Date: November 15, 2007
Jetson Green reported on La Maison de Demain, a french prefab concept:
The home is built with three prefabricated modules and is meant to show that green design can be affordable and attractive. An important aspect of the house is the open area in the middle, which could be used as a covered patio to extend the footprint of the home into the natural environment.
The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday appears to be on an extended hiatus?
The Los Angeles middle school expansion project opens next month to some very lucky kids who will enjoy classrooms filled with light, open learning spaces, and the best and healthiest materials. We’re big fans of Jennifer and her Office of Mobile Design here at Inhabitat, and we’re thrilled that her great prefab designs are being successfully applied to educational contexts- what better way to learn and teach than in a wonderful healthy classroom?
If it’s any consolation, they’ve found some land and they’re planning to build a FlatPak on it in Spring ‘08.
The Zerohouse sure fits both my dreams...
CubeMe wrote about the Drop House, a prefab prototype:
"Here is a Prototype of a really cool-looking portable house."Several of the rooms pop out from the main house volume.
The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday explained why they write about prefab.
"Green and tidy!"
We'll discuss Inhabitat's Prefab Friday post about the mkLotus in a separate post.
Jetson Green discussed another prefab prototype, the Tread Lightly House.
The Dwell on Design conference is this weekend in San Francisco.
We won't be there, but here's who will:
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."
Some prefab-specific events that will be worth checking out:
what: Dwell on Design conference
where: Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA
when: September 14-16, 2007
sponsor: Dwell Magazine
registration: $20 for Exhibition Only pass, September 15-16. $895 for full conference and exhibition passport.
features: over 80 exhibitors and vendors
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
"...$200 per sq/ft still isn't that bad considering the quality that you are receiving. Hive Modular is one of the best prefab, modular companies out there...especially for the price."
"...Turns out it is the model of the Show House by Jennifer Siegal's Office of Mobile Design. It was open so we went in and took a look around and it was absolutely beautiful. Jennifer was there as well to answer any questions so we chatted for a few minutes....Although a little small for a family of 4, this example of what can be built off-site just proves that anything is possible."
"...Combine all that with some cutting-edge technologies, like automated theatre, temperature, and lighting, and you've got yourself a 4,000 square foot masterpiece of green design."
"When you see this, you won't believe how much functionality and comfort can go into a mere 325 sf."He also pointed out this video, from HGTV, about the home:
"It's a very tranquil place but at the same time it's a bit of an adventure - there's always something to slide out or under, pull down, tuck away, generally fiddle with, if only out of the need for space. To live here you have to be ordered: to do one thing, you have to finish another first and put it away. And that may be my and other compact-livers' downfall."
The Maison Tropicale sale made a couple more headlines. An AP story about the sale showed up on quite a few sites, like ABC Money UK:
"Its last owner, Eric Touchaleaume, a French antiques dealer, has said he plans to use the sale proceeds to finance a Prouve museum that will travel inside another Maison Tropicale."NY Arts Magazine explained the original use for the prefab homes:
"Prouve's aluminum and steel home was designed for French colonists living in Brazzaville, now the capital of the Republic of the Congo."
"It's been recently updated, and gives a lot of detail, the kind of detail you don't get from glossy magazine articles."
"They say it has no geographic limitations. So, we say set it up for semi-outdoor summer living anywhere."
One of the downsides of the modular building method is that modules are limited to a size that fits on a flatbed truck. Chris offers some perspective after a visit to the factory:
"When we were first looking around at the different prefab options, we had no real perspective on what 14' wide or 16' wide would be like for the whole length of a house - those are both obviously fine dimensions for a single room, but how does it feel to have a whole house fit into that width?...yesterday it was reassuring to actually stand in ours and feel how open and comfortable the space is..."
Chris answered some user comments and questions by listing some of the finish and fixtures they chose. Their goal: "modest and genuinely cost effective (and of course largely unspectacular)".
Another post compares photos of the actual modules in the factory and the renderings that Resolution 4 had provided to the homeowners in the design process.
Last Monday, Chris relayed a funny story about his Grandpa's take on modernist design.
The site is definitely worth a visit. It includes details on prefab homes that are completed or in progress. For example, here's a video (4:11 minutes, no audio) of the Pacific Palisades Prefab.
"...We're thrilled to see prefab systems being applied to more public and educational contexts!) While the construction isn't quite finished, we think this is a great opportunity to show the process and progress of an exceptional prefab project- and one of the best (and first) prefab schools we've seen integrate so many green technologies...Treehugger covers a prefab concept in the UK by architect Richard Rogers. The post includes over a dozen photos, and quotes a recent Financial Times article (subscription required) with a hat tip to Urbanity.
We find this project particularly interesting as it is an addition to an existing structure, which provides not only site-specific but aesthetic and programmatic context."
The San Jose Mercury News ran an article about prefab and price:
"Manufactured homes are no longer the boxy firetraps owned by the poor and elderly. Instead they are increasingly becoming the smartly-designed homes of the young, wealthy and educated.Materialicious (a blog all about building materials) points out that the Structural Insulated Panel Association offers useful information, "including a Green Building section".
About 1.4 million people in California live in manufactured homes, and the typical profile of an owner has become younger, more educated and more affluent...
...standard site-built homes cost about $250 a square foot whereas manufactured housing can be as low as $120 a square foot, a big savings for people used to paying top dollar in the Bay Area."
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."
I spoke briefly with the OMD/Jennifer Siegal folks. They had some great product literature, offering a little more insight into their product (vs. their lame website). I saw a couple go into the booth ask for "that one" and point to a rendering on the wall. They've got interest, and some quality products to offer.
LivingHomes and Marmol Radziner have great (if pricey!) products. Both Steve Glenn (CEO of LivingHomes) and someone from Marmol Radziner (I didn't get there in time to catch his name) were speaking at a prefab forum yesterday. Marmol Radziner hightlights the design aspect of its product, while LivingHomes emphasizes its greenness and LEED certification. The design of each is largely custom and aimed at those where budget is not really a concern, but you do get what you pay for.
The Sander Architects booth was crowded, so I didn't get much facetime there. I heard Whitney Sander talk at the prefab forum. He fielded some strange questions, like one from a potential buyer wondering how the Hybrid House's steel framing would hold up in wildfire-prone areas (answer: steel framing is better than wood framing). He also got in some good points about the resale value of a prefab home, especially one with some inherit design value.
My favorite discussion was with Marc Asmus of Hive Modular. Before the show I wasn't really won over by their "dual style" approach (modern and traditional versions of each floorplan, like the above). After speaking with Marc, I gained a better appreciation for the approach and their reasoning behind it. He was slightly frustrated that they weren't getting more inquiries into their traditional style options. Modernist prefab was definitely the star of the show, but the ability to offer a product in two different styles should win them more consumers.
And one more to come...
what: exhibitors at CA Boom
when: last weekend
There was surprisingly little coverage of CA Boom prefab around the web this weekend. Perhaps all of the bloggers are waiting until they get into the work week to file their thoughts. A couple of posts did show, mostly speaking about green issues:
A few notes and pics of the Prefab Zone over at Curbed LA.
Inhabit loves the new location and enjoyed the evening reception. See their pics too.
Jennifer Siegal's Office of Mobile Design (OMD) comes to CA Boom with three distinct home lines.
The Portable House is a line of homes that can best be described as stylish, updated mobile homes. They are built in the factory and shipped complete (with wheels) to your site. Most models betray that fact, with fairly simple linear or stacked forms as a result.
The flexibility of the Swellhouse line lends itself to a more varied product. SIPs clad a "signature" S-shaped framing system. The Ecology Sun System (ECOSS) glass panels afford large expanses of uninterrupted glass. Like the portable house, swell houses are custom designed and no standard models are offered.
In the Take Home, OMD offers four standard configurations: 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom versions. The 1 bedroom is a single 14' x 60' linear module, with a roof sloping in toward the center. The 2,880 sf 4 bedroom is basically double width and double height, coming to 24' x 60'. All models cost about $240/sf and are shipped complete to your site.
One gripe: good luck finding the above information on their website. It's all done in Flash -- with no HTML version and it barely works. Sometimes a click leads somewhere, sometimes not. Details are nearly impossible to find, e.g. 36 lines of text that must be viewed 6 lines at a time.
price: $200,000 - $691,200
size: 840sf - 2,880sf for the standard models
br: 1 - 4 bedrooms
how: complete modules or SIP