If you didn’t already know, or couldn’t already tell, we’re seriously interested in the prefab world. Showing off new companies and innovative homes is what we do, so it’s our pleasure to talk about a relatively new company on the scene: Stillwater Dwellings. The Seattle-based company was founded by two architects and one builder/developer about eight months ago, and they’re going to break ground on the first home in Bend, Oregon this month. Stillwater put a lot of work into elucidating the “all-in” construction costs of a home, and they’re targeting prices in the range of $130 – 195 psf — quite competitive really for the prefab market. They also have a refreshing philosophy about how to do things; these are their fundamental beliefs:
This is the Wedge House or Metheny Residence, which was designed by Studio B and built by BuildSense. You wouldn't know it just by looking, but the home gets its prominent wedge roof by resting on top of three, factory-built modules — naturally, one module on one side and two on the other. The 1,829 square foot house was designed with an efficient envelope using 2×6 wall framing and high performance doors and windows. But before even getting to that, the architect made sure to properly orient the place and provide shade with friendly overhangs.
This is the first citizenM hotel near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Designed by Dutch design firm Concrete Architectural Associates, the hotel is made with prefabricated pods (or rooms) built in citizenM's own production facility. The rooms have been prefabricated not only to reduce construction waste and save time, but they're also built this way to provide a consistent room experience to guests. So when guests walk into a room, not only do they get a tightly designed and constructed space, but they get one that's full of geeky tech.
Just last week, DesignBoom brought us news of this cactus-inspired design for the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture building in Doha, Qatar. It's a fascinating example of biomimicry — the skin of one of the hardiest plants of the desert is applied to the design of the facade of a desert building — with hundreds of smart shades that open and close depending on the strength of the sun.
This smart home is not overtly green — there's no certification or anything like that, but the home has received recognition for it's unique design. Located in Woodland, Utah, next to the Provo River, Earl's Montesilo House was built with a south orientation to capture solar heat gain during the winter. During the summer, the second floor balcony acts as a sort of overhand to shade the interior. The 1800 sf home comprises two, linked, corrugated silos, and features what Gigaplex Architects call "bed-in-a-box;" the box has stereo sound and a flat screen monitor. I imagine it's peaceful living on the river like this …
[+] Tour Montesilo on Youtube.
It looks like Group 41 has been hard at work on a few designs for a multifamily project in Salt Lake County built entirely from containers. Below you’ll see both proposals, the Curve Scheme and the Red Container Scheme, but the general idea is to create about 200 units of market-rate housing along the rail transportation corridor. Group 41′s Container Nation developed the two proposals to take advantage of different approaches to the stacking and build out of the containers. In all, probably 1000 containers would be used — but this is preliminary conceptual phase with preliminary local planning approvals expected in mid-2009 or so …