PieceHomes is a new modern prefab offering by Davis Studio Architecture + Design, set to debut in about a week at Dwell on Design. Notice the interesting tagline — "pH: for a balanced home." Nice. PieceHomes plans to distinguish itself among the pack by providing custom and standardized, modern, modular architecture that is green and affordable. With a variety of home designs taking shape, pieceHomes will be available this fall and manufactured by XtremeHomes. Take a gander at the website and some of the home designs. I’m particularly intrigued by the Container House, 3×4, and Solar Passage (all pictured in this post). Like many prefabs, pieceHomes also will be designed to incorporate solar panels, green roofs, and other environmental features that fit home site conditions. It’ll be nice to see some of these renderings in real life.
I like the idea of using things that we already have to create things that we need — which is probably why the concept of container housing is so intriguing. In Las Vegas, Arnie Stalk, in conjunction with METRO Development Group and SHARE, has created an actual prototype of the Instant Built House. IBH is a rapid deployment shelter made from standardized, recycled ISO modules — containers that can be transported via ocean cargo ships, railroad "piggy-back" trains, semi-trucks, helicopter airlift operations, and civilian and military jumbo air cargo transports. In other words, an IBH can be shipped practically anywhere in the world in a moment’s notice.
IBH Shelters are built with the following: fully insulated walls, photovoltaic solar array for power, wind-ventilated scoops and skylights, roof-mounted HVAC units, satellite cable and internet, and internal waste collector and water recycling systems. IBH models are secured on concrete caisson footings, foundations, and slabs. I’m surprised they used Longhorn colors to paint it, but we’ll let that slide.
I’m not sure whether this is already in the works or whether this is just a proposal, but I thought it was creative and interesting enough to talk about. From the pictures above, you’ll notice a few things. Its slanting shape. The protruding containers. The juxtaposition of ultra-modern and historical landmark neighbors. The developer of the NYC Chinatown project, Mr. Woo of Young Woo & Associates, was interested in LOT-EK‘s design and considered the use of large, metal shipping containers in residential construction "fascinating" and "environmentally friendly." You’ll also notice from the renderings that the developer plans to have an array of solar panels on the roof.
To make it work, the slant begins on the third floor of the south end and the six floor of the north end. What that does is create some unusable square footage for the occupants on the south face (depending on the acuteness of the angle), with a pretty cool view for the occupant on the north face. Those on the north slant will have the benefit of peering over the ledge without having to worry about falling in. Also, I’d be interested in seeing a sun model of this to see how the building design takes on natural lighting for the occupants. All in all, it’s cool to see innovative building designs. Someone needs to push the entrepreneurial envelope, right? Via Lloyd of Treehugger.
+LOT-EK Container Housing Coming to New York [Treehugger]
+Leaning Tower of 87 Lafayette Explodes Our Brains [Curbed]
+Slanted Tower Studied Next to Landmark Firehouse [CityRealty]
+New Tower on Lafayette Street? [Wired-NY]
If you’ve ever been to a port terminal, you’ve seen the mass quantities of shipping containers used to transport goods all over the world. With the trade imbalance–US importing more than exporting, the containers that aren’t returned to their origin, waste away here in the US. But there are a few creative architects such as Adam Kalkin, Jennifer Siegal, and Peter DeMaria (his home pictured above and below), who are using these containers as the basic structure for custom built homes. The fact is, materials such as steel and wood cost big-time money and perpetually increase in price due to world demand; according to the video, Anna + Sven Pirkl are getting their 3,500 square foot home built at $125 square foot (a pittance for that area’s custom build price that ballparks at +$250 square foot).
The LA Times also wrote an article about what the family is going to do with the home (think: zip line + climbing wall).
[Total Time: 5:06 minutes] I found this informative, richly entrepreneurial video on Container City, which is a container-based urban development in London. Here in the US, we have some work to do, to get to the point that we support this variety of innovative development. Demand for a place to rent has been through the roof, so they added another level of container modules to rent out a few more funky flats. The website is at the following link: Container City.
BUSINES PLAN QUESTIONS:
I’m writing a business plan based on a container based retail enterprise. If you have experience working with these containers, could you email me with information on the costs of acquiring a container (including transportation, rehab, + wiring for use)? Any other information and experience that you may have with these containers is welcome! Entrepreneurial architects, your expertise is demanded!!!