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fabprefab - modernist prefab dwellings

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5,352
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31
I came across this website which features modernist prefab dwellings. Althought most of them appear to be conceptual, I personally think they're pretty hideous, but apparently there's a market for them.


This one is located in Tsuruga, Japan




Another one in Japan



Not sure where this one is located
 

boiker

Cyburbian
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3,889
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26
Planderella said:
which features modernist prefab dwellings. Althought most of them appear to be conceptual, I personally think they're pretty hideous, but apparently there's a market for them.
I saw a This Old House that featured the Japanese pre-fabs. For japan, it's really the only way to live in a single family home. real estate prices are way high, the can turn these prefabbed homes out in factories way fast too.

The modern design of the houses are probably right in line with what the market in Japan expects, after all most live in the modern cities.

Now, American prefabs? [molly shannon on]Don't get me started. [molly shannon off]
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
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1,264
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22
I don't find these examples particularly attractive, but this construction method has been in Japan for along time. It is typically cost prohibitive to site build or stick build a building like Americans are used to. Even these pre-fab buildings cost a fortune, given that single family dwelling is not possible for most of the population due to land and resource scarcity.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
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1,361
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23
I'm not a fan of those types of houses. I prefer natural materials to be incorporated into the house...wood floors, ceilings, etc. Just like the photos depict, they are typically oddly-designed houses that leave little to no room for individual style.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
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3,388
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26
Re: Re: fabprefab - modernist prefab dwellings

boiker said:
I saw a This Old House that featured the Japanese pre-fabs. For japan, it's really the only way to live in a single family home. real estate prices are way high, the can turn these prefabbed homes out in factories way fast too.
I read somewhere that the Japanese typically build SFRs to last only 40 years, as their real estate market has a distaste for old homes.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
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30
Re: Re: Re: fabprefab - modernist prefab dwellings

SGB said:
I read somewhere that the Japanese typically build SFRs to last only 40 years, as their real estate market has a distaste for old homes.
What houses have a design life, I think we've had this conversation before. ;)

I must be worn down by the really bad residential architecture we have, I kind of like the first one.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
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19
Bless your heart Panderella! I'm really getting to like prefab housing and the possibilities it has(think affordable housing here~and NOT trailer homes). The only one I really like is the first one. We all know that style is subjective. I can't stand victorian archeticture, but love the craftsman era(like my current home), despise the Ranch, but like modern interpretations of it. When done with a modicum of reservation and taste(again, subjective), a modern dwelling can look and blend into existing housing with out too much hassle. Someone else mentioned the state of american prefab architecture, and I tend to agree that its certainly not innovative enough. They try to emulate the styles that came before, and IMO, it doesn't work in this context. I've got a few more links at home that are similar to these. I'll have to look them up and post here for those interested. I feel that American architectyre taste is in kind of a rut lately, not that there's much wrong with that, but I'd love to see more creative thought put into homes.

www.ruralstudio.com is one I can think of off hand. The location, and purpose of these homes can certainly be debated, but just look at them for thier design and thought at this time.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
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3,838
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25
Well, assuming they're not structurally crap, I think people should be experimenting with new house designs. A whole street of these would be weird but how weird is a street of identical raised ranches? Currently there is little difference in typical new home styles in most of North America maybe prefabs can give people more choices and opportunities for home ownership.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
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29
I actually like the first design a little bit. I agree with Seabishop.

DWELL Magazine (A yuppie is I) sponsored a contest for pre-fab house designs. I tend to like simple glass-and steel boxes (Farnsworth House) when they are in the right location.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
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2,713
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24
I don't think the second pic was completed. You can see the bare lumber still exposed on the inside.

OR

The psychophants of the modernists havn't finished thier long slow terrible death yet. :|

OR

They called in some German designers who use Legos for thier modeling. :)
 

martini

Cyburbian
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678
Points
19
http://www.re4a.com/modern-modular/dwell-home.html

I agree with BKM, I like the simple structure of the farmworth house seen in the above link. I could easily live ina place like that. I guess what it boils down to for me is that I like "unique" stuff. Always have. I'm about as far from mainstream as one can get on most things. I like visually striking items, the stark nature of many of the modernist homes provides quite a nice contrast to the natural(wooded) setting I prefer.
 
Messages
5,352
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31
There's nothing wrong with being original in house designs. I agree that the housing stock of today is very bland, ruttish (as in stuck in a rut) and unimaginative. However, on that same token, I'm not sure I want to live in one of these types of houses either. They're sort of freakish to me and screams PRETENSIOUS.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
Points
30
Need help from one of our Toronto people.

There is the ugliest modernist POC located at the corner of Bond and Leslie. it is a hideous shade of periwinkle/blue and is completely out of place with the rest of the neighbourhood. (1950's-1970's ranch style homes) If I can find an image I'll post it, I am sure other people use it much like I do, for providing directions to people.

Modernism has its place, but sometimes architects take it too far. I like Martini's idea of juxtaposing a modern home in a rural/wooded setting.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
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29
Oh, I don't know. None of these homes appear that showy to me. The striped one with yellow railings (#2) is a little bold, but in the burn zone of the Oakland Homes (What I call the MBA Zone-for "Museum of Bizarre Architecture), none of these homes would stick out that much. for one thing, they're not 5,000 square feet on a 7,000 square foot lot :)

I would much rather live in a spare modernist structure with tons of windows than a hulking stucco (or fake brick for you easterners) "traditional" home. But, that's just me.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,915
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36
donk said:
Need help from one of our Toronto people.

There is the ugliest modernist POC located at the corner of Bond and Leslie. it is a hideous shade of periwinkle/blue and is completely out of place with the rest of the neighbourhood. (1950's-1970's ranch style homes) If I can find an image I'll post it, I am sure other people use it much like I do, for providing directions to people.

Modernism has its place, but sometimes architects take it too far. I like Martini's idea of juxtaposing a modern home in a rural/wooded setting.
Oh, I dunno donk, I think they're kinda playful.

Timely response though (sorry the pic isn't the greatest)
http://www.torontolife.com/magazine/urbandecoder/urban_detail.cfm?Ref_Num=38
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
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30
Knew it was odd enough to be on the web.

Imagine these surrounded by 1950-1970 ranch homes in Canada's first garden suburb, York Mills.
 
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donk said:
Knew it was odd enough to be on the web.

Imagine these surrounded by 1950-1970 ranch homes in Canada's first garden suburb, York Mills.
That looks like something from out of the set of PeeWee's Playhouse or some Tim Burton movie.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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36
donk said:
Canada's first garden suburb, York Mills.
[nitpick] It's Don Mills, not York Mills. And I think this area is just outside that area. It could be a later phase I guess. Oh, and they're not pre-fab ;) [/nitpick]
 

martini

Cyburbian
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678
Points
19
My wife likes to call homes like that "Suessian". And I tend to agree with her. To echo BKM, yeah, this one isn't a great example.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
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29
Well, that's the biggest problem with modern design. Most people need the rules of "tradition." Traditional architecture provides vernacular framework for building decent cityscapes. Very few architects (and fewer contractors) can design beautiful "modernist" houses. (Eichlers-I like 'em, but they make for lousy streetscapes, imo). There has to be a rational, disciplined mind, a sensitive use of color and form.

There are a lot of houses in the Oakland Hills that look like the Don Mills examples above :)

But, even "tradition" can't save housing design from a combination of small lots, steep sites, and too much insurance money :)
 

donk

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Tranplanner said:
[nitpick] It's Don Mills, not York Mills. And I think this area is just outside that area. It could be a later phase I guess. Oh, and they're not pre-fab ;) [/nitpick]
oops, the only time I am in this neighboiurhood is to warm up to to crawl home.

Planning History 101 was not my best subject.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
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2,713
Points
24
donk said:
Knew it was odd enough to be on the web.

Imagine these surrounded by 1950-1970 ranch homes in Canada's first garden suburb, York Mills.
Looks like a more lively and scaled down version of Columbus, OH's, "TRAIN WRECK ON HIGH"

Traslated, "the convention center on High Street near the downtown of Columbus, Ohio, looks like a train wreck occured at that spot".

:)
 

Cullen

Member
Messages
33
Points
2
I kind of like those japanese prefab structures. Maybe some of the colors are a little loud, but that could be changed. It seems modernism does a lot to get attention and maybe loud colors are one of the less enjoyable aspects of it (from a passive observers view, sometimes). I really love modern architecture, it is so innovative and different, it really provides something new, and calls to light a feeling of futurism, like its letting us know that technology is prgresing and tomorrow is almost here today. So often though, modernists presume to know how to build a functional structure without having the trial and error and experience that comes with more traditional structures. The traditional structures in place today are the culmination of thousands of years of design experience. Modernism just comes in and tries to rewrite the rules, often without a great understanding of what the rules originally were.

I have never lived in a modernist house, so I cannot wiegh in as a firsthand opinion in that sense. I have lived in Albany NY though. During the administration of Nelson Rockefeller, two great modernist monuments/structures were built, the SUNY Albany Campus and the Empire State Plaza. These buildings have defined what living with modernism is to me. They are very beautiful, but thay have certain quirks, like at the SUNY campus, one can rarely make any trip without crossing a number of corners, or walking around something. This aspect, favoring monumentality and aesthetics seems to take away from enjoyment of the structure since some functionality is lost. The bright blue houses among the ranch houses seem to me to be much of a monument. When modernist structures can become more functional and learn more from the successes of the past, I will be an even happier man.

SUNY Albany

Empire State Plaza
 

martini

Cyburbian
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678
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19

boiker

Cyburbian
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26
empire plaza

Empire plaza gives me a cold, machined feel. The buildings do not invoke a sense of warmth or humanity. They feel inhuman, a symbol of their dominance over the land. The buildings appear to be seperate from humans and do not need humans to exist.

The university is neat however, the geometry of the land planning is interesting. I wonder how students feel about it?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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I'd be interested to hear from the upstaters on the Board, but I think only hard-line modernists (like my Palo Alto architect) like Empire State Plaza. Downtown Albany was such a cool, human scaled Victorian city. This looks like the Borg landed.

I prefer human scaled modernism. The house in the country, as others have mentioned. And, I like crisp, clean glass-and-steel skyscraprers. Concrete should generally be used for parking lots and sidewalks :) (I said "generally"0
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
LaMiDesign is one of the more enthusiastic promoters of affordable modern dwellings. He's got a nice selection of stock plans on his site already with more to be offered soon.



Personally, I like thePorch house the best. Small size, but still big enough LOTS of windows. I like windows, and a simple shape.
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
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916
Points
21
misplaced my post...

There's been lots of discussion of modern prefabs on the Dwell magazine forums, if anybody wants to read more. The house in the second pic was featured in an article about a year ago.

Any chance of directing the debate away from personal tastes about the design and to the potential for manufactured housing to provide a better, cheaper product for the homeowner?:: Greater util. of factory-made components is being promoted as a way to make homes cheaper. Is it naive to believe that could work? Any thoughts?
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
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Re: misplaced my post...

[[mod hat on]

Duplicate post/thread deleted.

[mod hat off]
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
I like to think that factory-type housing could work(we all know that mass production can make an item cheaper), but the country as it stands right now might find something like this hard to take. The current stigma about pre-fab housing is trailer homes. While there's really nothing too bad with mobile homes, there's an image(umm, white trash anyone?) that they need to overcome. Mobiles certainly DO provide affordable housing now, but this isn't my point. When America thinks of pre-built, pre-fab, thier mind turns to mobiles and the inherit 'cheapness' about them. With magazines like Dwell out there, slowly chipping away at the preconcieved notions, I do think that eventually, pre-fabbed or component housing could find a way into the hearts of america. I don't think it'll ever become mainstream though(as much as I'd like to see something like that happen).
 

brandonmason

Cyburbian
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140
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6
On the contrary, I definitely could see prefab becoming more accepted to the point where it might even be the norm. It'd be an easy "slippery slope" to head down -- builders are already limiting models available and relying more and more on factory produced components (something they've been doing since WWII). Eventually, I could see them just slapping together a prefab house. This would fit in with the way much of the rest of the economy is being run.

I've seen some pretty nice prefab and manufactured homes go into the upscale neighborhoods in the suburb where I live. They are mixed in with built homes right next to them and they blend in well.
 
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