Prefabulous or Fad? - Page 5

Designers and builders of prefabricated homes go modern and green—but what lies ahead?

marmol radziner

4. Michelle Kaufman Designs: the Breezehouse

What: The Sunset Breezehouse (1,890 to 2,470 square feet); the Sidebreeze (2,500 square feet); the Glidehouse (672 to 2,255 square feet). More designs are on the way.
Type: Modular, wood-framed
Features: The Breezehouse features an open, high-ceiling central breezeway living area, beneath a butterfly roof, flanked by sleeping and utility areas. Eco-friendly materials, high-performance insulation and mechanical systems, solar panels, energy efficient windows, a choice of siding. The single-story Glidehouse has a single-pitched roof and a wall of south-facing glass protected by movable wooden louvers.
Where: Based in Oakland
How many: Twelve homes are complete, five are underway, another 50 are in pre-production.


5. Maxx Livingstone Modern Homes: the Krisel Butterfly

What: Maxx Livingstone plans a line of prefab houses designed by William Krisel, based on his designs from the 1950s and '60s for the Alexanders of Palm Springs.
Type: Modular
Features: These modular prefabs use nearly the same floor plan and elevations as Krisel's designs from 45 years ago. Base models of the Krisel homes are 1,625 square feet.
Where: Based in Canada and Los Angeles, initially working in the Palm Springs-Joshua Tree area.
How many: One conventionally built version is underway in Palm Springs and will serve as a showpiece home.
Check out: The showpiece will be constructed at the corner of San Lorenzo and Camino Real, Palm Springs.


6. Yeh + Jerrard: the JoT House

What: The JoT House (name comes from 'Joshua Tree')
Type: Panelized, using SIPS panels
Features: The stripped-down, one- to three-bedroom, post-and-beam box, roughly 1,300 to 1,400 square feet, has movable interior walls, a window wall, shed roof, stucco exterior, rows of clerestories, and a central core of bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry.
Where: Based in Los Angeles
How many: Two prototypes in Joshua Tree; another in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles.


7. Office of Mobile Design: the Swellhouse

What: Several designs, including the Swellhouse, Portable Home, and the Take Home, by architect Jennifer Siegal
Type: Modular, and mobile
Features: Steel-framed, sleek, and boxy, and filled with glass, Siegal's mobile homes look like no one else's. Her modular homes are designed to be movable, open to customization, and to "rest lightly on the land." The Portable Home can expand and contract, and re-orient itself on the site to take advantage of seasonal sunlight.
Where: Based in Los Angeles
How many: OMD has turned out a number of mobile homes, an artists-in-residence community in Los Angeles called Ecoville, and mobile classrooms. Siegal has her own Swellhouse in Manhattan Beach.