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November 6, 2013
These first forays into prefab structures helped catapult some of the leading firms specializing in the construction methodology.
Modern wooden prefab home in Scotland

“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” says architect Alan Dickson about Scotland's Isle of Skye. “The downside of that beauty is that land is expensive and very difficult for young people to afford, so they’re leaving the island.” In 2010, Dickson, of the Skye-based firm Rural Design, and local builder James MacQueen came up with a solution: a small timber-frame prefab design called the R.House, which can be constructed quickly and tucked onto less expensive lots that don’t appeal to well-heeled holiday homeowners.

Photo by Marcus McAdam.

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Modern net-zero prefab prototype home in Emeryville, California

The question "what would Eichler do?" clinched the deal that created Simpatico Homes, a modular-home company 
inspired by the work of the postwar developer Joseph Eichler. The company’s prototype home in Emeryville, in which co-founder Seth Krubiner 
has lived since late 2011, was created in a San Jose factory for around $270 per square foot. Photo by Jake Stangel.

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Originally appeared in What Would Eichler Do?
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into africa prefab housing exterior

Archtiect and self-defined social entrepreneur Eric Bigot designed a prefab prototype to provide affordable housing in South Africa and to stimulate the economy by creating construction jobs. Photo by Dook.

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Originally appeared in A Prefab Housing Concept in South Africa
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After months of arduous design and construction, Marmol and Becket are thrilled to escape Los Angeles for their idyllic desert retreat.

With this elegant steel prototype, Marmol Radziner and Associates launched a its prefab venture with the goal of bringing modern design sensibilities to a broader market. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.

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Originally appeared in Desert Utopia
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The LV can be opened to the elements when the weather cooperates, allowing for generous cross-ventilation.

The Perryville, Missouri, show house for Rocio Romero’s LV prefab series is also home to the designer and her husband, Cale Bradford. The house subtly reflects the area’s utilitarian rural vernacular. The prototype, originally built as a weekend retreat, became the couple’s primary residence not long after its completion. “We decided we liked being in this house a lot more than we did our place in St. Louis,” Romero says. Photo by Dean Kaufman.

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Originally appeared in All You Need Is LV
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For all its hard environmental work, one of the most immediate of the Blue Sky Home’s pleasures is how it sits so snugly in its desert surroundings.

The Blue Sky prototype home tiptoes gracefully across the desert landscape just north of Joshua Tree National Park. Unlike a wood-frame house, where load-bearing walls need to go in certain places to support the structure, a Blue Sky steel frame house doesn’t require interior walls. The architects at o2 capitalized on the flexibility the steel afforded them by emphasizing open space and a connection with the surrounding nature. Photo by Misha Gravenor.

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Originally appeared in Plan of Steel
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Taalman sits with their daughter, Oleana, in the living room on a metal lounge designed by Kenneth Cobonpue. Glass walls emphasize views and greatly expand the sense of space in the 1,100-square-foot house. Through the glass wall behind her is the fire co

The basic thinking of Taalman-Koch's iT House was to “take advantage of industries outside of the traditional domestic building environment," Taalman says. "The iT House is a collection of off-the-shelf manufacturing systems that we’ve combined—like the Bosch framing usually used in robotics and the Epic roof construction system used in airports and malls.” This first iT House has informed more of the firm's designs, like a residence built in Clear Lake, California.

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Originally appeared in iT House, Joshua Tree
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Modern wooden prefab home in Scotland

“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” says architect Alan Dickson about Scotland's Isle of Skye. “The downside of that beauty is that land is expensive and very difficult for young people to afford, so they’re leaving the island.” In 2010, Dickson, of the Skye-based firm Rural Design, and local builder James MacQueen came up with a solution: a small timber-frame prefab design called the R.House, which can be constructed quickly and tucked onto less expensive lots that don’t appeal to well-heeled holiday homeowners.

Photo by Marcus McAdam.

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