With high-end material selection combined with superb Scandinavian design and appliances from Bulthaup, Gaggenau and Hajom, it’s no surprise that NeXT House delivers some of the first class architect designed prefab homes in the market. We spoke with Thomas Mårtensson, CEO – Global sales of NeXT House, and learned that you can buy a house, designed by an award winning architect, filled with dream products at a price you never thought possible.
What inspired you to get involved in prefab?
Before I started Next House I was previously involved in a project with IKEA, where we renovated apartments for rental in a cost-effective way but still with a high level of design. The idea of this project was to demonstrate that it is as expensive to build beautiful as to build ugly. This made me realize that even house industry needed a new thinking and that we should be able to build beautiful architect-designed houses for a cost effective price.
Describe your approach to prefab design & construction?
We are working hard to develop houses with floor plans and design that can be adjusted in simple standardized processes, making the houses very cost effective to produce. This reflects on our customers’ price tag. It is expensive to build a house is the technical core, such as bathrooms and kitchens. We have an extremely high level of our basic range, which means that our customers rarely make any changes. Because of this we can go to our suppliers and buy products in quantity instead of the special order for each unique customer. Our customers may therefore buy an architect designed house, filled with dream products at a price they never thought possible.
Can you tell us about the type of construction and materials you have chosen for your prefabs and why?
My biggest interest is design and beautiful things, therefore it has been important for me to emphasize a high level of design in the purchase process. It does not matter if we have to go to Indonesia to find a nice bathtub, our customers deserve a high level of design. Besides this Next House has its place of honor in one of the world’s perhaps most suitable areas for house production. This two aspects together creates interesting opportunities. Sweden and Scandinavia have long experience in wood industry and housing and is also far ahead in the environmental and ecological work and research. I want to show people the potential of creating an industrial process for housing construction, which in turn enables an architect designed house for all!
How important is sustainability and efficient design to you?
Very important. I have a daughter, Thea, our collection is named after her. For me it’s not just about selling a beautiful product. It is also about creating a product that in a way to help people to live environmentally conscious. We work hard to constantly adapt the houses with materials selection and design, so they end up as good as possible energy values. Our increased environmental impact and all the news about natural disasters makes us also more aware of our impact on succeeding generations. We therefore believe that the key challenge in future will be to live as environmentally friendly as possible. That means we have to deliver the most energy-efficient houses as possible. Wooden house is the absolute cleanest houses you may have.
What would you consider to be the most challenging project, in terms of delivery and site adaptability?
We are working hard on logistics, purchasing and intelligent standard processes to streamline the entire production line and construction process. We are proud that we have succeeded in producing such a very high level because the standard in our house. The fact that we have a kitchen from Bulthaup, Gaggenau kitchen appliances from the glazing and firing from Hajom-do customers rarely changes. It allows us to go to our suppliers and buy in quantity, which means that we can drive down prices in that we would have special ordered everything separately for each customer. This allows our customers have a house in the price range with many competitors, but with a source completely out of the ordinary. To take one example, Bulthaup is probably the most exclusive kitchen manufacturer in the world and we are the only husföretaget in the world that they entered into a partnership with them. It shows that what we do is something different – which makes us incredibly proud.
What advice would you give to a potential homeowner interested in a prefab home?
You want to build a house but have no time or knowledge to do it by yourself? From Next House, you can buy a house architect designed by award winning architect Magnus Ståhl, filled with dream products at a price you never thought possible. We also work with professional and well-established construction companies, which together with the Next House business means we can deliver a turnkey house with a smart concept to our customers.
In your opinion, is the affordability of prefabricated homes a bit exaggerated or do you think prefab is the solution to low cost housing?
To build a house once is expensive, to build a house a 1000 times is much less expensive. We believe we have found a concept that works for different types of customers and their different needs. The Thea collection has 12 house models in various sizes from 15 sq.m. to 398 sqm.
Prefabricated modular apartment units, prefab student housing, and even prefab hotels are sprouting up across the globe. What are your thoughts about that?
Globalisation means that people around the world read the same interior design magazines, listening to the news and appreciate the same type of design. Just like that no matter where you are in the world can buy a pair of designer jeans, it should be possible to buy a Swedish architect designed house.
The future of prefab – Is it just a passing trend or is it here to stay?
Next House has in less than three years established itself strongly in one of the world’s largest and most complex industries. At the same time also an industry that interests almost everyone. An independent living is probably the largest private investment over a lifetime for many people. An architect designed his own house filled with dream products are probably the same way the biggest dream for many people. Next House addressed to the conscious, modern individuals who appreciate good design, quality and beautiful materials, but also “first movers” and are curious about the very latest. We are looking forward to see what the future can bring.