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Dovecote Studio: Preservation, Meet Prefab

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London architects Haworth Tompkins insert a Corten steel artist's studio into a ruined Victorian dovecote

On England's Suffolk coast, architects from London firm Haworth Tompkins have made unlikely bedfellows of prefab architecture and historic building preservation. Dovecote Studio was created from the ruins of a Victorian-era dovecote, which was used as a frame for a Cor-ten steel "lining". The inner form was lowered by crane into the aging brick structure. Say the architects: "The......read more

Cargo Container Housing Trend Heats Up

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Recycled shipping containers fulfill their architectural promise.

The steel shipping container, invented half a century ago, is the linchpin of global trade, used to transport everything from electronics to cars to wheat.  Designers and architects recognized the conversion potential of cargo containers early on, but only now are the steel structures beginning to fulfill their promise as building blocks. The "cargotecture" trend is hot, hot, hot. In......read more

Prefab Perfection

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A net-zero home in Venice Beach blurs the line between indoors and out

With its mnm.MOD prefab home project, Santa Monica architecture firm Minarc creates super energy-efficent modular homes from a library of pre-selected materials and patented connections. This mnm.MOD building, the Superb-A home in Venice Beach, Calif., is an outstanding example of what prefab architecture can be.  Completed in May 2011, the 2,400 sq ft home blurs the boundary......read more

L41 House: Compact Condo of the Future

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Less is more with Michael Katz's tiny, affordable prefab

What's the minimum amount of square feet a human needs for a home to be a home? According to Vancouver architect Michael Katz: 220. That's how big he and artist/designer Janet Corne made their L41 ("All For One") house, a compact, modular prefab that answers the twin calls of sustainability and affordability. "The major objective of the L41 home is to play a part in mass-producing houses......read more

A Sleekly Sustainable Prefab in the Californian Desert

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Green ideas permeate elegant, modernist Desert House

The design practice of Los Angeles architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner, founders of Marmol Radziner and Associates, extends well beyond buildings and into jewelry and furniture. Whatever the project, green ideas reign supreme. The duo's prefab design and manufacturing business is but another example. The prefab operation launched with this vacation home prototype -- owned by Marmol and his......read more

Watershed Sustainable Workspace

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Prefab with near-zero eco-footprint is the perfect retreat for Oregon nature writer.

We could get used to working here. Designed by FLOAT architecture, 'Watershed' is a 100 square foot writer's studio that reveals the complex ecology around it. Little tunnels under the structure bring reptiles and amphibians into view through the floor-level window. A water collection basin, doubling as the front step, attracts birds and deer. All of the structure's parts are......read more

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