Architects love modern prefab – but what do the people want?

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Dwell, the design magazine, has unveiled the newest project in its own line of prefab homes: The Skyline series (as seen below), designed by Marmol Radziner.


This is one more example of the direction the prefab industry seems to be taking – the trend towards Modenism. But the market has been reluctant to embrace the concept of modern prefab. So on one hand you have the “trailer trash” image of a cheaply constructed mobile home, and on the other hand you have this modernist expression. And as much as I love modern design, I don’t think it necessarily belongs on every infill lot in America.



There seriously must be an alternative architecture that works for prefab. An architecture that embraces the modesty and the economy of materials that the prefab industry has been known for; but packaged in a high quality, functional and sustainable design that can be compatible within most existing neighborhoods. An architecture that the people can actually see themselves living in. Come on prefab industry, let’s give the people what they want!

So this author (Ron Brenner of Simply Elegant Home Designs) set out to design a home that could be  prefabricated.  The rules were kept simple.

  1. Use a structure width that could be fit on a trailer for shipping.  Shipping rules vary but I used 15 feet.
  2. Create an aesthetic that would be more compatible within an existing neighborhood.
  3. Create an interior environment that is comfortable and functional

The resulting design is primarily constructed from (3) 15 foot wide sections.  One section contains the living, dining and den spaces.  Another section accomodates the kitchen.  And the third section houses 2 bedrooms.  A small addition accomodates the front entry and covered entry porch.




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