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MiniMod: Modern Prefab Living

Prefabricated or Off Site Construction (OCS) has so many advantages – perfect indoor conditions in which to build, the use of equipment that can be difficult or cost prohibitive to bring on site, the reduction of construction time, cost, and waste, and greatly minimize the destructive impact on the building site, just to name a few. Continue reading

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Yolo County Cabin: Influential Farms

This cabin in the Sacramento Valley farming community of Yolo County is well suited to its surroundings. In fact, its forms are influenced by local water towers. And the lean-to portion resembles a farm shed, a new and very well detailed farm shed. Continue reading

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Great Barrier House: Guilt Free Living

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On New Zealand’s sixth largest island, this home nestles lightly in to a wooded cove beneath rugged hills. Elevated slightly above the lush ground for protection from flooding, the house is sited to enjoy the hill views and to tuck the bedrooms close to the forest for privacy. The exposed timber skeleton and siding are a nod to the house’s woodland host. And the roof slopes up to increase the height of the living area and, of course, for functional reasons as well. Continue reading

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Hood Canal Double Duty Boat House

It seems like this should be the norm in boat houses, and perhaps it will catch on. On the Hood Canal in Washington state, this concrete block walled and gable roofed boat house has been transformed in to a cozy cabin for the warmer months of the year. During the winter months it protects boats from the weather. Continue reading

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Little Lantern: Secretive Addition

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In a park-like neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, a sweet limestone cottage of just 1,400 sq.ft. has been quietly enlarged, doubled in fact, to accommodate a modern family. The additions were designed with high respect to the original builder and character of the home and the area. Continue reading

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Ground and Above Roof House: Light Manipulation

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In Osaka, Japan, this family home for a couple and their two children rises to meet the lack of privacy and day light. The double height volume of the ground floor offers a typical arrangement of a shared kitchenette, dining, and enclosed storage. Though you may miss those when you enter the glass front door and are face to face with an igloo like structure! Or is it an olive green tent? Continue reading

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Mill Valley Cabins: Idyllic Studios

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On a steep and lushly wooded site, long-time residents wished for studios in which to paint and practice yoga… personal spaces to expand their existing hillside home. What Feldman Architecture created is the stuff of dreams for me. Two separate studios, one for his painting, and one for her yoga and to act as a guest house, were notched in to the hillside. Creating two individual buildings minimized disturbance of the site. Continue reading

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Swallow House: Many Flights

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In any situation it is best to go with the flow or bend like a willow and not break like an oak. The design of this home bends and flows with its challenging sloping site. In fact it uses the site to create a dynamic modern house whose light filled spaces contradict its small size of 124 sq.m. Continue reading

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Flat 40: Floating Screen Wall

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This extraordinary family home in Japan is surrounded on three sides by traditional residences and one seven story apartment tower looming on the other. I’m always delighted to see beauty built from adversity. The solution employed here is called ukikabe, or floating screen wall. Continue reading

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Catskills Suburban Home: Modern Modular

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This is not the typical suburban home in my neighborhood, though I wish it was. A modern factory built house, also known as prefab, of just over 2200 sq.ft. sits unpretentiously in a grassy woodland niche. Resolution: 4 Architecture has over 30 of these prefabricated homes under their belt and their portfolio shows the unique potential that lies in this method of home designing and building. Continue reading