Move over, Master Po…there’s a new Grasshopper in town. San Francisco-based Fougeron Architecture, headed up by the determined Anne Fougeron, successfully rehabbed yet another structure.
I know… “yet another” sounds like “ehhh…whatever…” But the big deal about this fête accompli comes from the pre-rehab structure itself. Fougeron took an underutilized San Francisco concrete warehouse, waved her wand and Casa Crumbling Concrete became the elegant Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
There’s no arguing that people are more nomadic than ever before. Technology has made it easier to travel, communicate and move from place to place. So, why shouldn’t you have a house designed to suit your on-the-go lifestyle? Just as air travel, cell phones and the internet have made picking up and moving easier and more commonplace, our homes are changing with the times as well.
Buying and selling property could become a thing of the past — at least the way we know it. Instead of purchasing a plot of land with a house, what if all you bought was the house itself? That’s what French company Drop Architectes had in mind when they built their prototype “drop house”, which won the Algeco design contest.
The idea behind the drop house is that you can literally purchase your home, drop it wherever you want and live happily ever after. (Or if you get tired of the location, you can have the house picked up and transported someplace else by truck. For someone liked me, who’s lived in four cities in the last several years, this would be great!)
THOMAS SMALL is an accomplished cook, so it’s important for him to try new and exotic ingredients every now and then. When it came to the construction of his eco-friendly house, that’s exactly what his architects gave him. After all, crushed sunflower husks and shredded blue jeans don’t sound like typical building blocks.
But in the world of green design, such ingredients are not rare. So now, Mr. Small and his wife, Joanna Brody, along with their two very young children and a pair of large French Briard dogs, share a prefabricated urban building that has become an example for others looking for creative ways to go green. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
What I dig most about the influx of prefab housing on the market are the leaps and bounds they’re making in terms of design and building efficiency. Not only are they popping up (literally, in some cases) everywhere, but the structures themselves are getting more daring and architecturally stimulating.
A fine example is the Ehrlich House near Chapel Hill, NC. This 3,200 square foot custom prefab was the brainchild of architect Dustin Ehrlich. Highly modern in function and form, this house was designed to reflect its surrounding rural landscape.
A stunning exterior of rusted corrugated metal mixed with wood, stone and stainless steel bring a rustic quality to the simple, hard-cornered design, giving it the feel of a modern log cabin in some sections and a futuristic shed in others. (I mean this in a good way.) Simple but very groovy is the best way I can describe it.
Here’s a green home design from Italy that looks like the typical set-up we’ve been seeing for new homes – an all-glass main floor with something more private on top. But while it’s reportedly won an international competition, I haven’t been able to figure out what exactly makes it green.
Maybe it’s the use of the sun. Current design trends take advantage of solar energy by strategically placing glass and incorporating the surrounding landscape to provide a cooling effect when necessary. But even the company inadvertently admits that the real e-factor in a house is the placement, paying attention to available sun and shade.
Symbiosis in design always intrigues me. While the integration of disparate and creative elements into one cohesive unit doesn’t always make for great art — when it works, it’s worth noting. From the strange but wonderful slicing and clanging noises in ‘80s Depeche Mode music (which seemed radical at the time) to a chandelier made from exploded party poppers, it’s the joining of unusual things that I most love to hear and see.
The same goes for verbal or intellectual concepts. Take, for example, John Paananen’s Suburban Tipi (or teepee, as I like to call it). It’s hard to imagine someone actually building a teepee in the middle of suburbia, but that’s exactly what Johnny P did in Bloomfield, Michigan. Inspired by the “fused nomadic home designs of the yurt, tipi, and igloo” (as well as an encounter with a teepee-housed woman named Rosemary, who accused the designer of interfering with her energy), Paananen “slip[ped] the straitjacket of suburban values, materials, and methods of construction over them” to create this temporary “house” that stood for seven months.
You’ve heard of the iPhone and the iPod, but what about the iPAD? It’s not some high tech mousepad from Mac — though I’m sure those are coming. It’s a lightweight kitset building from architect Andre Hodgskin. One thing these iTechnologies do have in common… they simplify your life without compromising style.
This New Zealand architect first become popular in the design world back in 2000 when he debuted the BACHKIT, a holiday home that featured a host of adjustable parts — including sliding walls, which allow the place to feel personal and blend the realm between outdoor and indoor living. In the architect’s second installment of portable homes, the iPAD takes simple living to a new level. The iPAD can be used as a one- bedroom holiday home, office, studio or resort unit, but it can also be grouped into a series of pavilions, allowing for larger accommodations. In addition, various external color options are available, as are external cladding like extendable decks to suit individual taste and needs.
The Windy City just isn’t windy enough for Frances Whitehead and James Elniski. After investing $40,000 in wind turbines, the savings to them is only about $500 a year. In case you weren’t a math major, it’s going to take them 80 years to pay it off. Fortunately for the environment, Frances and James just don’t care.
Part art project, part science project, part office, part home, Frances and James have built what they consider the house of the future. Frances and James have no doubt that, in the future, the systems they’re using for energy and water collection will be standard. They’re both artists, and they consider their home DuChamp in reverse — bringing objects away from the realm of art and creating a highly functional house. Their friends tease them, saying it’s the biggest sculpture they’ve ever done.
If you’ve ever been curious about pre-fab housing, here’s your chance to get up close and personal with the latest and greatest in sustainable architecture. From July 20 to October 20, The Museum of Modern Art will showcase its “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling” exhibition, where there will be an off-site installation on a scale you’ll have to see to believe.
LivingHomes Modular Housing of California recently launched their line of semi-custom homes that are LEED certified. I’ve researched so called enviro-friendly homes as well as “intentional communities” over the last few years, and I’m definitely in favor of a switch to greener building methods.
I do have some thoughts regarding LivingHomes, though, which have nothing to do with their product, only their advertising. They compare themselves to traditionally built housing in their materials, time of building and costs. But this is apples to oranges in my opinion.
The modulars take up to six months for manufacturing before delivery to your property, with (good news) installation taking anywhere from eight hours to two days. These houses are the quantum-leap evolution of mobile home construction attainting the next level of sophistication with a definite “Frank Lloyd Wright goes green” design. LivingHomes claims their costs are twenty to forty percent less per square foot than an equivalent stick-built (currently between $180 & $270, not including design fees, transport or install or foundation costs), while being comparable in design, equipment and construction of a traditional home. I like this. Their final cost is around the million dollar mark (give or take a few thou), which in today’s market is above average. But, of course, financially solid purchasers have globally responsible desires, too, so why not take this plunge?