Desert House is a modern prototype prefab home designed by architecture studio Marmol Radziner, located in a beautiful oasis in Desert Hot Springs, California. The two bedroom, two bathroom residence is located on a five-acre site and oriented to best capture views of San Jacinto peak and the surrounding mountains.
From the architect: Doubling the interior space, the home extends towards the landscape with covered outdoor living areas. The home is comprised of 4,500 square feet of sturdy steel modules (2,100 interior square feet and 2,450 covered exterior square feet) rooted onto a concrete pad atop an untamed hill—looms into view like a sleek metal oasis.
Sheltered living spaces blend the indoors with the outdoors, simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing, comprised of a guest house and art studio. The intersecting modules were designed to frame a range of spectacular desert vistas.
After months of arduous design and construction, Marmol and his family are thrilled to escape Los Angeles for their idyllic desert retreat.
Ocotillo was placed in key areas as a great structural focal point. Groupings of succulents accent the home’s entry path and pool area.
Plants found in the surrounding landscape were used to obscure the lines between designed and natural worlds.
The open living and dining plan is flooded with natural light. The wicker PK22 lounge chairs are by Poul Kjaerholm for Fritz Hansen. The suspension lamp is by DePadova.
There are generously proportioned nine-foot-high ceilings throughout the Desert House. Marmol Radziner designed and built the outdoor table and benches from reclaimed Douglas fir.
The kitchen cabinetry, custom designed by the architects, is smooth brown teak. The faucet is by Hansgrohe, and the dishwasher is by Bosch.
The “L” shaped plan layout defines a protected courtyard that includes a pool and fire pit.
Hidden Valley Residence is a custom prefabricated structure designed for an active couple as a vacation home by Marmol Radziner, located in Moab, Utah. Hidden Valley sits on an open, hundred-acre site punctuated by red rock formations and cliffs in the arid desert. The design of this incredibly designed 2,500 square foot, two bedroom, two bathroom home blends indoor and outdoor living spaces, with expansive decks that are comprised of 1,720 square feet, floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the expansive views, and an open plan.
The primary axis of the main house runs along a rock ledge, creating dramatic views out over the landscape. With three full sides of windows and sliding glass doors, the views in the great room proceed from southern (looking out over the rock ledge) to western (red rock boulder formations), and finally to the northern views of snow-capped mountains in the distance. The guest wing with an exercise room opens up to views of the boulder formations on one side and the mountains on the other.
The structure is comprised of 15 steel-framed modules that were designed and fabricated by the architecture firm’s prefab division at their production facility in Los Angeles. The building form consists of three main branches that cantilever out over a landscape of sandstone ledge. Deep covered decks provide shading, frame views, and link to a guesthouse and exercise space. A geothermal ground loop system coupled with a large solar PV array take advantage of the site’s renewable energy resources.
Photos: Courtesy of Marmol Radziner
Project Portable Home ÁPH80 is a design by Madrid based ÁBATON Architects, a dwelling ideal for two people, easily transported by road and ready to be placed almost anywhere. This tiny house is comprised of only 290 square feet (27 square meters), sectioned into private and public spaces and ready for immediate placement. The proportions are the result of a thorough study by the architectural team so that the different spaces are recognizable and the feeling indoors is one of fullness. This low cost pre-fabricated housing solution is priced from $42,862, with an estimated one day assembly time and manufacturing taking approximately 4-6 weeks per unit.
If you’re into mobile architecture, check out a sled house retreat that can be towed off the beach to avoid incoming tides.
It is a simple yet sturdy construction made of materials chosen to provide both comfort and balance. ÁPH80 embodies the principles and objectives of ÁBATON: wellbeing, environmental balance, and simplicity.
ÁPH80 has 3 different spaces measuring 27 square meters (9×3): a living-room/kitchen, a full bathroom and double bedroom. Its gabled roof is 3.5 meters high indoors. Most of the materials can be recycled and meet the sustainable criteria that ÁBATON applies to all its projects.
It blends in with the environment thanks to its large openings that bring the outdoors inside. The use of wood throughout the building not only adds calmness and balance but it is also hypoallergenic. The sourced wood comes from regulated forests (will regrow to provide a wide range of other benefits such as further carbon storage, oxygen generation and forest habitat).
Technical Data: The outside is covered with grey cement wood board. Ventilated facade with 10 centimeters thermal insulation around the building. Solid timber structure manufactured through numerical control; Inside timber panels made of Spanish Fir Tree dyed white. ÁPH80 has been designed and manufactured fully in Spain.
Manufacturing time: 4-6 weeks. Assembly time: 1 day. Transportation by road. We are currently developing simpler series which can be added to the ÁPH80 to suit every particular need, creating larger spaces and contributing to the project’s versatility.
Photos: Juan Baraja
MINIMOD is a modular home designed and built for relaxed, off-the-grid living, designed by MAPA Architects, situated in Maquiné – Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This 290 square foot (27 square meters) module proposes an innovative, intelligent and sustainable alternative of dwelling. Starting from a minimal module, MINIMOD invests in customization, design and sustainability. The production is carried out in a prefabricated manner and enjoys the steel frame system technology, which lets the client adapt the space to his needs, choosing among different finishes, as well as automation options.
Depending on the composition of the modules, MINIMOD can vary the uses ranging from a compact refuge for weekends, a small showroom for events, up to hotels and inns, combining a larger number of modules. The modules are 100% prefabricated and elevated to a determined place by truck or disassembled into smaller pieces and taken to the ground for final assembly.
The expansion and addition of new modules can be performed either at initial installation or in the middle of the process, according to the needs and budgets of the client.
MINIMOD is more than a product of design, is more than a house. It’s practicality combined with comfort, it’s economy allied to nature, it’s a unique experience of housing and contemporary living.
MINIMOD centralizes production and reduces the emission of CO2 in the atmosphere. The home features a rainwater harvesting mechanism through the green roof. The house is slightly elevated to avoid moisture from penetrating the interior. Ventilated facade gives thermal and acoustic comfort. When night falls, this modular home uses LED lamps to illuminate its interior.
The MINIMOD enjoys the benefits of dry construction technology: quick, clean and efficient. Entirely manufactured and pre-modulated it is easily adaptable to customer needs. Mounted and manufactured in accordance with the premises of the project, it can be transported entirely or in parts.
Photos: Leonardo Finotti
Nestled into the trees, the simple forms of this Gambier Island House designed by Turkel Design seem one with nature in British Columbia, Canada. Designed to collect rainwater and exhaust the home’s warm air in the summer, the double-incline roof is defined by exposed beams of beautiful Douglas fir. The Original plan was designed with a growing family in mind, but also works well for this client’s destination location and entertaining guests. The three bedroom, three bath home features en-suite bedrooms on both floors. In the great room, an operable wall of glass opens the house onto a shaded deck, with spectacular views of Center Bay on Gambier Island. Above – the peninsula sitting area is the perfect tree-fort getaway, for conversation and relaxing. Open to the fireplace below and the trees beyond, it is an ideal go-away place to inspire and be inspired.
Description of the prefabricated home: The first TD3 2490 to be completed in North America recently received two Gold Awards and one Silver Award for design and green-build features from the NAHB in its Waterfront Hideaway categories. Known as Gambier Island House, it is perched above the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. The unique conditions of this steep, remote site required a building system that could be delivered by barge; the Lindal Cedar Homes (LCH) kit-of-parts approach was the ideal solution.
Orientation of the outdoor living space is in the primary view corridor of the home, providing an intimate seating group focused back to the centerpiece fireplace making the space feel truly part of the home. The tapered roof beam design motif is repeated by the custom glass rail’s aluminum powder coated posts. As a second story Deck the ‘landscape’ is the airy feel of living among the trees and is augmented by the glass rail which disappears from view, creating a weightless, suspended feeling.
The house, an original design created by Turkel Design for Lindal as part of the Dwell Homes Collection, is adaptable to multiple site conditions and opens to views simultaneously in several directions. Turkel Design collaborated with a local independent LCH dealer, My House Design/Build, and positioned the house to open into a stand of old-growth cedars and out through the treetops to the opposite shoreline. The TD3 2490 collects its own rainwater, uses passive methods to self-ventilate, and can be delivered and constructed in almost any location worldwide.
Custom kitchen cabinets conceal appliances except the Wolfe range stainless tile accents.
Master suite integrates bed and bath with translucent glass partitions.
Photos: Barta Photography
This prefabricated cabin is comprised of only 550 square feet, built on Lake Pend Orielle near Sandpoint, Idaho. The one bedroom, one bathroom cabin was designed by FabCab and built by Selle Valley Construction, Inc, using timber frame and SIPs (structural insulated panel). SIPs, are a composite building material consisting of an insulating layer of rigid polymer foam sandwiched between two layers of structural board. FabCab designs and sells pre-fabricated environmentally-friendly homes and accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The company specializes in design for all ages and environmentally sustainable design by providing clients eco-friendly and universally designed cabins that support healthy lifestyles. There are many uses for FabCabs including a home, guest house, home office, writer’s or artist’s studio, caregiver’s residence, in-law apartment, rental unit or a cabin on a vacation property.
Exposed Fir timber frame beams and tongue and groove ceiling contrast nicely with the rich gray paint. Castle Combe wide plank flooring.
Custom floating cabinets with gray quartz counter tops and stainless subway tile backsplash.
Fir barn doors with large appliance pulls.
Custom floating cabinets with gray quartz counter tops. Brizo Trevi Cross faucet and shower head. Tierra Sol Nu Travertine “Walnut” vein-cut floor, shower and back-splash tile.
Steam shower with Brizo Trevi Cross fixtures. Tierra Sol Nu Travertine “Walnut” vein-cut tile.
Photos: Marie Dominique Verdier
The Off-Grid itHouse is a design system developed by architecture studio Taalman Koch in Pioneertown, California that utilizes a series of components prefabricated off-site to help better control the construction waste, labor, and quality of the finished product. Conceived as a small house with glass walls and open floor plan, the itHouse maximizes the relationship of the occupant to the surrounding landscape while minimizing the building’s impact on delicate site conditions.
Energy efficiency is achieved in the itHouse through passive heating and cooling, utilizing site orientation and cross ventilation, radiant floor heating, hi-efficacy appliances & equipment and the use of solar photovoltaic & thermal panels.
To further enhance the experience of living in a glass house, a graphic design is mapped to discreet areas of the glass walls, creating framed views, sun-shading screen patterns and privacy zones. Artists Sarah Morris and Liam Gillick custom designed the graphic outfit for the off-grid itHouse.
Photos: Gregg Segal
This prefabricated mountain modern home incorporates touches of heavy timber to blend with its surroundings in Truckee, California. This striking home has been designed by architecture studio sagemodern, with 3,170 square feet of living space, the home was designed to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor living. The functional floor plan maximizes common areas and bedrooms to accommodate family and friends. There is 1,700 square feet of exterior deck space of Ipe and copper-gray slate tile that is perfect for outdoor functions.
The residence includes five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, with a fresh, clean design. With designer fixtures and finishes throughout, the home features sustainably harvested hand scraped hickory and copper-gray slate tiles with radiant heating on the floor. The exterior facade is comprised of hot rolled steel, cedar channel siding and board formed concrete with heavy timber and trellis details. Energy efficient features include thermal insulation of walls, roofs and floors, energy efficient windows, sun protection and bioclimatic architecture and solar water heaters.
Nestled into a suburban Seattle, Washington neighborhood, this slightly customized prefab house reflects its progressive and environmentally conscious community. The eco-friendly home was designed by West Vancouver-based studio PLACE Architects, with a character that is both friendly and approachable. The homeowners and their two children were downsizing from their 5,000 square foot home to this 2,476 square foot home with the core decision being the idea that we can all live in smaller houses with more outdoor spaces that are preserved for tree growth, play and outdoor activities.
The family has maximized every square inch of the available space in the home. Every functional zone has been clearly defined but offers multiple uses, which meant the home is more efficient and constructed with fewer materials and requiring less expended energy to heat and cool. The cabinetry in the kitchen and living room are formaldehyde free. The residence was assembled onsite from a kit, which took less than seven months to complete. The two car garage is comprised of natural wood shiplap siding and the chartreuse HardiePanel, which are all low-maintenance materials that were carefully detailed to resist the elements gracefully. Above the garage is an office for the homeowner to telecommute part of the week to save time and gas and allow more family time.
With sustainability in mind, all materials in the home are nontoxic and low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The home is equipped with low-flow plumbing fixtures to conserve water and with Energy Star-rated appliances. In-floor radiant heating is cost effective, running off the same boiler that supplements the heat for domestic hot water. The flooring is a structural concrete slab, which minimized the layers of material needed to finish out the space, cut down on waste and eliminated a layer of finish that would otherwise have to be replaced every 10 years or so. A solar-powered domestic hot water system heats the backyard lap pool.
Roll-up doors connect the kitchen and dining area to the outdoor patio and pool area.
The dining table, windowsills and stair treads came from a fir tree that was on the property prior to construction.
The waterfront site of an existing 1970’s kit house overlooks layers of wetlands to an estuary, the bay, and the ocean in Southhampton, New York. Far Pond Residence is a renovation and addition of an existing structure by Bates Masi Architects. The contemporary home was doubled in size to 3,100 square feet utilizing prefabricated elements that resolved multiple structural and spatial problems.
Here is a description of the project from the architects, “Prefabricated shear wall panels, used in light frame construction in areas that are hurricane prone with high force winds, were studied. Most are made from a light gauge metal folded to add strength and rigidity. For our case the panels were to be exposed and used for more than just a hidden structural component. A standard light gauge 4×8 steel sheet was folded back and forth along the long axis adding the same strength and rigidity to the panel. The resulting 2’ panel locks into adjacent panels and is a structural shear and bearing assembly, as well as a decorative furniture component.
The new structural panels multitask throughout the addition. The solid steel transitions to a perforated panel that baffles the sunlight over windows and doors. The light quality varies throughout the day as light levels transition through the overlapped perforations. Fins that protrude from the wall panels are laser cut to accept shelving, seating and countertops. The same perforated steel becomes the dining room chandelier, and the platform for the stair and desk. This one material is exhausted in its possible uses throughout the house, minimizing the necessity for additional components that require wasteful shipping and packaging. The secondary infill material is used through both structures, on the floors, walls and ceilings to unify the old and the new.”
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