I was reading recently in an architectural magazine some comments that an architect was uttering about prefabricated construction, putting the whole industry in a single bag and qualifying the results as “ugly”. As I find the comment to be out of touch with the reality, I believe that the esthetics of a prefabricated house lies in the skills of its designers and builders.
A great example of fabulous prefab is this latest house by New York based Res4 Architecture. Overlooking the Great Peconic Bay in the south fork of Long Island, this compact house is sited beyond a wildlife buffer in a wooded enclave, steps from the bay.
Overlooking the Great Peconic Bay in the south fork of Long Island, this compact house is sited beyond a wildlife buffer in a wooded enclave, steps from the bay.
The main living and dinig spaces along with the master bed and bath are positioned on the second floorto take advantage of the bay views to the north.
Below are two guest bedrooms, a den and the entry. A carport with storage sits directly acros from the house entry, defining asmall courtyard and entry. In the front, a small second story cedar deck peaks into the parking courtyard. In the back, a larger deck, both from the first and second floor, frame the wooded rear of the property.
By integrating a geothermal heat pump system, the house manages a more efficient air exchange system. Ground heat is added to the open water loop during the heat cycle and conversely during the cooling cycle, heat is then extracted from the water loop and transfered back into the ground, The house's lifecycle is 25 to 50% less than the traditional oil, natural gas, and electric heat pump system.
A rooftop 32-pannel solar array will output an anticipated 6,000 kwh per year. The owner will participate in the local solar pioneer rebate program, they will receive immediate tax credits rewarding their efforts to incorporate green measures into their daily life.
The design of the project is based on a prefab system, called Modern Modular, that the architects have developed in order to produce lower-cost quality custom dwellings. Leveraging on existing methods of prefabrication, they are designing modern homes based on combinations within a system of modules. The explorations have resulted in a series of freestanding typologies that aim to fulfill the requirements of domestic functions.
The different models are based on off-the-shelf materials, techniques, and organizational strategies that the architects developed while basing themselves on principles and concepts that they developed and used in previous projects.
The combination of prefabricated construction and innovative architecture is helping this talented architectural practice to offer a solution of “Mass Customization” to the American suburban dwellers. The projects that they have been producing are a living proof of the viability of their concepts.
Photographs, illustrations and project description are contributed by the architects.