written by:
January 3, 2016
In our December/January issue, we explored the latest developments in prefab construction, from readymade building materials to entire structures that can be transported by crane. Here, we take a look at 10 highlights from the issue.
Desert Canopy House living room with Mah Jong sofa by Roche Bobois and water feature

Los Angeles–based architect Whitney Sander and his wife, designer Catherine Holliss, helped a couple maximize their energy savings with a smart design in Palm Springs. The 6,200-square-foot house was built using a hybrid system, with the exterior walls and lightweight steel beams prefabricated and trucked to the site, supplemented by on-site customization.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in An Energy-Efficient Hybrid Prefab Keeps Cool in the Palm Springs Desert
1 / 10
Facade and garage entrance of shipping container home in Pennsylvania off the Delaware River

Just west of the New Jersey–Pennsylvania border, in the Bucks County borough of Yardley, the home of Martha Moseley and Bill Mathesius sits on a sizable lot. Fashioned from 11 shipping containers and a preexisting raised-concrete foundation, the three-level, 7,200-square-foot structure stands in stark contrast to the neighboring vernacular of prewar summer cottages.

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Originally appeared in A Shipping Container Home in Pennsylvania Embraces Its Rugged Industrial Origins
2 / 10
modern prefab home in Paris suburb with concrete and red cedar facade

To accommodate a family of four in a Paris suburb without running afoul of zoning rules, Djuric Tardio Architectes nearly doubled an existing brick house in size with a new top floor. The extension’s walls were constructed from prefabricated panels, which cut down on costs.

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Originally appeared in Now That's How You Double Your Square Footage
3 / 10
Mondern prefab Chicago live/work space by UrbanLab facade with Dukane Precast concrete panels

The 8,340-square-foot residence of Daniel Staackmann and Nicole Sopko is also home to a manufacturing plant and retail space for their vegan food company, Upton’s Naturals. To offset construction costs, architect Martin Felsen and designer Sarah Dunn of UrbanLab devised a structure that relies on prefab elements. Over only two days, 20 concrete panels were trucked in and hoisted into place, forming the building's basic shell.

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Originally appeared in In Just 48 Hours, a Chicago Live/Work Space Is Built from the Ground Up Using Concrete Panels
4 / 10
Martha's Vineyard prefab with a thick concrete facade

Due to the slow, steady erosion on the site of this Martha's Vineyard home, architect Peter Rose designed a modular house that could be transported to a new location in the future. The house's six concrete boxes, connected by two intersecting corridors, are topped with natural sea grasses to blend in with the landscape.

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Originally appeared in Six Concrete Boxes Make a Jaw-Dropping Martha's Vineyard Home
5 / 10
Modern beachside prefab home in Australia by Archiblox with colorbond ultra steel and queensland blue gum wood claddingon the facade

After a two-month design process and five months to secure proper permits, this prefab house designed by ArchiBlox on the northern beaches of Sydney was installed on-site in just six weeks. It sustains high winds and spray from the surf, so the firm wrapped the exterior in marine-grade Colorbond Ultra steel.

Courtesy of 
Tom Ross
Originally appeared in This Prefab Hangs Out at the Beach
6 / 10
Swedish Prefab Home, Exterior

“How would a kid draw a house?” architect Per Franson asked himself when designing this family home in suburban Stockholm. At the urging of builder Michael Johansson, the architects ended up with a 50-50 split between off-site and on-site work, building the shell of the house in a hangar in Kalmar and finishing the details on location.

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Originally appeared in This Bright Green Prefab in Sweden Looks Just Like a Monopoly House
7 / 10
Modern prefab lakeside home in Ontario, Canada facade

Retirees Dr. Mary Ellen Kennedy and Robert Dault tasked architect Charlie Lazor with bringing a prefabricated 2,100-square-foot home to their lakeside property, located in one of rural Ontario’s unorganized territories. A single “kiss point” where the two modules meet defines the home’s relationship to its environment, forming a V-shaped breezeway and framing expansive views of the lake.

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Originally appeared in This Isolated Prefab is One with the Wild
8 / 10
Modern prefab english mobile home with chesnut clad facade

When planning regulations limited what could be built in England’s New Forest National Park, PAD Studio devised a prefab structure for a couple that can be moved by crane. “The whole building is based around a steel frame, which provides us with the stability to be able to top-lift it easily,” explains designer Ricky Evans. 

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Originally appeared in The Home That Arrived by Crane
9 / 10
Modern Colorado prefab cabin by Outward Bound made of steel and birch plywood interior

The Colorado Outward Bound School commissioned the University of Colorado Denver's design-build program to erect 14 cabins on challenging terrain—a hillside at 10,200 feet above sea level—with minimal environmental impact. The team devised prefabricated structures to reduce time on site while ensuring quality of the build. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Tiny Prefab Cabins Upgrade a Rugged Camping Site in Colorado
10 / 10
Desert Canopy House living room with Mah Jong sofa by Roche Bobois and water feature

Los Angeles–based architect Whitney Sander and his wife, designer Catherine Holliss, helped a couple maximize their energy savings with a smart design in Palm Springs. The 6,200-square-foot house was built using a hybrid system, with the exterior walls and lightweight steel beams prefabricated and trucked to the site, supplemented by on-site customization.

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