Digital Librarian: a librarian's choice of the best of the Web

Digital Librarian is maintained by Margaret Vail Anderson, a librarian in Cortland, New York

Prefabs: Modern Modular


Articles - Official site of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Riba Journal has a searchable archive. The Library provides access to the online catalogue. This catalogue will locate books and drawings in the library's collection, but it also serves as an index to over 300 architectural periodicals owned by the RIBA Library. A title search for Houses: prefabrication, for example, yields over 700 results and includes books and articles. Clicking on the title of the journal will give you a Table of Contents for that particular issue.
Before Buying a Prefab - By Amy Gunderson, New York Times, September 21, 2007. “With any designer, ask how many homes the firm has built and how many are in the pipeline, and arrange to visit a finished house. The growing prefab field has led many designers to jump in, but not all them actually have designs that have been built...Also ask what changes can be made to plans and how complete the house is when it arrives from the factory, a variable that can affect construction time. Some modular houses arrive 90 percent finished, with light fixtures in place; others need considerably more work from a contractor.”
Design Notebook: Factory Fresh: Interstately Homes - By Alistair Gordon, New York Times, April 1, 2004.
Fabulous Prefabs - By Sean O'Neill, Kiplinger's, July 2006.
Finding Loans for Yurts or Prefabs - By Bob Tedeschi, New York Times, November 26, 2006.
Green Acres, One Piece at a Time - Alastair Gordon, New York Times, December 9, 2004. Describes the process of installing the prefab designed by Oskar Leo Kaufmann (OLK), based in Dornbirn, Austria, in Mileses, New York. See also Putting The Fab In Prefab by Alistair Gordon, New York Times, September 26, 2002.
Forecast: Fast and Warmer by Julie V. Iovine, New York Times, January 6, 2005.
Havens: Living Here: Modern Kit Houses: Thinking Inside the Box - As told to Bethany Lyttle, New York Times, October 15, 2004. "Outside, it's somewhat industrial looking, but inside it's a celebration of nature. There are bamboo floors, wooden cabinets. There's rugged stone tile in the bathroom, and when you stand in the shower, the floor feels like real ground. I used to associate contemporary with cold, impersonal spaces, but this house has completely changed that. It's like living in a Japanese garden."
High-style prefabs cut second-home costs - By Sean O'Neill, Kiplinger's.
House Proud: High design in a factory-made home? Michelle Kaufmann believes she holds the key - By William Booth, Smithsonian Magazine, January 2007. "So in 2006, she took the plunge and bought her own factory, 25,000 square feet east of Seattle, from a retiring modular house builder. She moved in this past October, with a goal of producing 10,000 prefabs over the next ten years."
House in a Box - By Sara Lin, Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2008. (Rocio Romero, FlatPak, NextHouse).
Instead of Trading Up, Adding a High-Style Shed - By Michael Cannell, New York Times, September 10, 2008. "Tiny, high-style prefabricated sheds like the Kithaus have received a great deal of attention over the last year, with admiring coverage in design blogs and magazines, and roughly four times more companies producing them now than five years ago."
Modern Kit Houses: Thinking Inside the Box - As told to Bethany Little, New York Times, October 15, 2004. "There are bamboo floors, wooden cabinets. There's rugged stone tile in the bathroom, and when you stand in the shower, the floor feels like real ground. I used to associate contemporary with cold, impersonal spaces, but this house has completely changed that. It's like living in a Japanese garden."
Move Over, McMansions: Microhouses Are on the Rise - By Annelena Lobb, Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2006. "The 800 square-foot dwelling, which cost around $160,000, was the second of Mr. Warner's weeHouses, multipurpose units that can be used as anything from second homes to yoga studios."
The Next Little Thing? - By Steven Kurutz, New York Times, September 10, 2008. &...Mr. Janzen spent the summer building an 80-square-foot 'tiny house' out of free stuff he found on Craigslist?"
Prefab Home Designer Bucks A Downward Trend - By Matt Sepic, NPR, January 23, 2009. "...Rocio Romero's homes - with their corrugated metal walls, huge windows and strong horizontal lines - are selling despite a dismal housing market."
Prefab Sprout - "Few prominet architects have wanted to associate themselves with the prefabricated house. Until now. Forum takes a closer look at a growing trend and draws attention to prefabs by Anders Wilhelmson, Force 4 and Arne Jacobsen." by Lars Aberg znc Fanny Stenberg, Forum AID, 4.05 (2005).
Prefabs: Do-It-Yourselfer's Fantasy: Modern Housing, in a Kit - By Linda Lee, New York Times, November 13, 2003.
Prefab Homes Get a Style and Solar-Powered Makeover - By Kit Eaton, Fast Company, February 19, 2009.
Prefabs with a Modernist Sensibility - By Karen Olsson, New York Times, March 5, 2006. "They arranged to purchase a 1,520-square-foot Glidehouse, designed by Michelle Kaufmann, a San Francisco architect, for what came to about $253,000 and also bought land on a small commuter island west of Seattle."
Putting the Fab in Prefab - By Alistair Gordon, New York Times, September 26, 2002.
The Sky Line: Some Assembly Required: A modern way to make a modern house - By Paul Goldberger, New Yorker, October 17, 2005.
Straw's in the Wind - RIBA Journal, August 2008.
The Very Model of a Modern Modular House - By Daniel Akst, Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2003. "Despite a thriving New York practice whose clients include trendy ad agencies and rich people with gaping lofts, Mr. Tanney's firm, Resolution: 4 Architecture, has poured itself into a series of designs for manufactured modules that can be combined into three- or four-dozen modern homes. All are striking departures from the choices available to most home buyers today, and all, at least theoretically, are buildable in a factory for something like the price of the banal tract homes gobbling up farmland across America."
Wrap it Up and Make it Home: A Prefab Who's Who - By By Sean O'Neill, Kiplinger's, July, 2006.


Container Architecture (2008) - By Jure Kotnik.
Loblolly House: Elements of a New Architecture (2008) by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake.
Prefab (2002) - By Allison Arieff.
PreFab Green (2009) - By Michelle Kaufmann.
Prefab Houses Maison Préfabriquées Fertig Häuser (2009) - 25 international houses based on modular and prefabrication systems.
PreFab Houses (2010) - By Peter Gössel, Arnt Cobbers and Olivia Jahn.
Prefab Modern (2004) - By Jill Herbers.
PreFab Now (2007) - By James Grayson Trulove.
Prefab prototypes: site-specific design for offsite construction (2006) by Mark Anderson and Peter Anderson.
Prefabulous + Sustainable: Building and Customizing an Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home (2010) - By Sheri Koones.


3xNielsen and Plot - Designed the Turn-key villas for M2 - "the Kip House, the Flower House, the X House, the Twist House and the Basic House, as well as the KipUp House and Trapez House summer cottages" .
Alchemy Architects - Geoffrey Warner of St. Paul is known for his WeeHouse line of modular houses.
Anderson Anderson Architecture - Peter and Mark Anderson, Seattle & San Francisco
Architecture and Hygiene - Adam Kalkin, Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Benthem Crouwel Architects - Amsterdam. See:
Almere House
Boklok - Associated with Ikea
Breckenridge Finer Living: Glassic Flat - Designed by Architect Christopher C. Deam. "This modern 400 sq. ft. dwelling features floor-to-ceiling Andersen glass doors and windows, opening the entire interior to an outdoor vista. This new concept is currently available in three floor plans."
Brightbuilt Barn
Claesson Doivisto Rune - "Founded in Stockholm in 1995 by Marten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune." The Plus House is "a pre-fab two-story house with the generic proportions of a traditional Swedish barn house...This is the first house we designed for the pre-fab manufacturer Arkitekthus, in their catalgue named AH#001."
Clever Homes - San Francisco. Known for its panelized houses. The firm's top model is the CH1.
Collins and Turner - Penelope Collins and Huw Turner, Surry Hills, Australia.
Cutler Anderson Architects - Bainbridge Island, Washington. Not prefab, but the Pine Forest Cabin is a gem.
DeMaria Design - Peter DeMaria uses shipping containers. See video in which Peter DeMaria Talks About Cargo Container Design and Sustainability.
EcoContempo - Greg La Vardera, Merchantville, N.J. (Steel panel houses).
Empyrean International - See Dwell Homes and NextHouse designed by architect Joel Turkel.
FlatPak House - Charles Lazor, Minneapolis. See Design Life Now National Design Triennial 2006 podcast in which Lazor "talks about the ideas behind Flatpak House, a revolutionary pre-fabricated housing system which approaches architecture as a product that consumers can assemble and customize from a flexible kit of parts." There's also a transcript. See also Lazor's funiture company - Blu Dot and Forecast: Fast and Warmer by Julie V. Iovine, New York Times, January 6, 2005.
Ftres arquitectos
Glama-Kim Architects - Reykjavik, Iceland. See:
Summer House (Stykkishólmur)
Summer House (Borgafjordur)
Haack + Höpfner. Architekten - See also Micro Compact Home
HAB Housing
Heikkinen-Komonen Architects - Mikko Heikkinen and Markku Komenen, Helsinki, Finland. See:
Pre-fab house Laavu
Hive Modular - Minneapolis
Horden Cherry Lee - London.
IdeaBox - Salem, Oregon.
Jot House
Kanga Room Systems - Austin, Texas.
Kieran Timberlake Associates - Philadelphia. See:
Cellophane House
KitHaus - Designed by Tom Sandonato and Martin Wehmann and distributed by Design Within Reach. See An Instant Room, Shipped Flat by Aric Chen, New York Times, February 7, 2008 and Instead of Trading Up, Adding a High-Style Shed by Michael Cannell, New York Times, September 10, 2008.
Kolatan Macdonald Studio
KRDB - Krager & Assoc Design/Build, Austin, Texas.
Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis - New York. Designed Upside House.
Living Homes - Santa Monica. Ray Kappe and David Hertz, architects.
Loftcube - Berlin.
Lot-Ek - Giuseppe Lignano and Ada Tolla.
Mark Mack - Venice, California. Designed the Judenburg West Housing project in Austria.
Marmol Radziner Prefab - Los Angeles. See Dwell and Marmol Radziner's Slick Prefab House, but Will It Sell? by Cliff Kuang, Fast Company, June 29, 2009.
m-house - Tim Pyne, London.
Massie Architecture - William Massie, Troy, New York. View William Massie Lecture, November 12, 2003 at Southern California Institute of Architecture which has a Lecture Archives.
Meka - Toronto, Ontario.
Michael Jantzen - M-vironments
Michelle Kaufmann Designs - Los Angeles. See Iconic Pre-Fab Provider Closes Shop by Cliff Kuang, Fast Company, May 27, 2009 and Modern Prefab On The Ropes: Michelle Kaufmann Packs It In by Lloyd Alter, TreeHugger, May 27, 2009.
Minihome - Andy Thomson. With images. See A home built with a clear conscience by John Bentley Mays, Globe & Mail, October 12, 2007, Mini and Marvelous Places, Going Green, One Home at a Time, CBC Radio, September 22, 2007.
Modern Cabana - San Francisco.
ModFab - Taliesin.
Modular Dwellings - Edgar Blazona, Berkeley, California.
Modern Cabana
Modern Modular - Brooklyn, New York.
Modern-Shed - "People are comfortable with the idea of working from home in a way that they weren’t just a few years ago," said Ryan Grey Smith, founder of Modern-Shed, a small Seattle-based firm that has sold 130 room-size structures since it was founded in 2003, half of them in the last year." (From Instead of Trading Up, Adding a High-Style Shed by Michael Cannell, New York Times, September 10, 2008.)
Morphosis - Waterbury, Connecticut.
Thom Mayne received the Pritzker Prize in 2005.
Offenes Architektur System
Office of Mobile Design - Jennifer Siegal, Venice, California. Designer of the Swellhouse. Siegel is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects' design of Rolling Huts evokes Thoreau¹s simple cabin in the woods - By Jane F. Kolleeny, excerpt from Architectural Record, April 2008. Provides interviews.
Oskar Leo Kaufmann - Dornbirn, Austria.
PAF Architecture - See Patrick Freet's Loq-kit.
Pinc House - Stockholm, Sweden.
Q-House - San Francisco
Resolution: 4 Architecture - New York. Firm headed by partners Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz designs modern modular residential housing. They designed the Dwell Home in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
Richard Wintersole - Aledo, Texas.
Rocio Romero - Designer of Luminhaus, located in Amherst, Virginia "located approximately 200 feet above the North Fork of the Buffalo River, 10 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and is minutes from George Washington National Forest and the Appalachian Trail." She also designed the Fish Camp. See also The Sky Line: Some Assembly Required: A modern way to make a modern house by Paul Goldberger, New Yorker, October 17, 2005.
Royal Homes - Wingham, Ontario. There are four models of the Q Series Modernist homes designed by Kohn Shnier Architects.
Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen - Aarhus and Copenhagen.
Family Home in Greenland is a prefab structure by Steko-Holz-Bausysteme.
Steven Holl - New York. See.
Turbulence House
Studio 804 - Design/build program at the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design headed by Dan Rockhill. Won Residential Architect's 2006 Project of the Year Award for 750 Shawnee Road and 3808 Lloyd Street.
SU11 Architecture+Design - New York. Co-founded by Ferda Kolatan and Erich Schoenenberger.
Syndesis - David Hertz, Santa Monica, California. See:
Tilp-Up Slab House (Hess Residence) - With Construction Timeline.
System Architects - Jeremy Edmiston and Douglas Gauthier, New York.
Target Graves Pavilions
Taalman Koch - Los Angeles. Glass-and-aluminum iT house.
Tiny Texas Houses - Brad Kittel, Gonzales, Texas. Each house is unique and made from recycled materials. See Texas home builder says bigger doesn't always mean better by John Moritz, Columbus Dispatch, February 17, 2008.
Toyota Home - Steel-frame prefabs manufactured in Kasugai. The 1,300 sq. ft Smart Stage is $175,000; the 1,800-sq. ft. Espacio Mezzo has three bedrooms and a garage ($225,000). Toyota also has a stake in Misawa Homes.
TrailerWrap - Project by Michael Hughes, an architect and professor at the University of Arkansas.
Tsubomi - "Aluminium space packaging system" (in Japanese).
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company - Jay Shafer. Models include Epu, Tarleton, and the Loring.
Velocity Art and Design - Their Modern Playshed ($2995), a prefab designed by Ryan Grey Smith, can be customized by adding "deck, colorful floor tiles, indoor/outdoor colored panels, and whiteboard, chalkboard, or finished birch ply panels." See Bauhaus Meets the Playhouse In Homeowners' Backyards by Jessie Knadler, Wall Street Journal, April 15-16, 2006.
V2 World - Bob Jameson.
Werner Aisslinger - Loftcube - Berlin architect.
Wihelmson Arkitekter


Dwell Magazine - Shelter magazine, based in San Francisco and owned by Lara Hedberg Deam. You can Subscribe through Amazon.
fabprefab - Created by Michael Sylvester, an architect and business consultant.
Fast and Affordable: A Century of Prefab Housing - Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University.
Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling - Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 20- October 20, 2008. See also Home Delivery website and Audio Tour
Inhabitant: Prefab Housing
Some Assembly Required: Contemporary Prefabricated Houses - Walker Art Center exhibition, December 8 - March 26, 2006. With Gallery Guide and Audio Tours on Pinc House, Rocio Romero LLC, Resolution: 4 Architecture, Marmol Radziner + Associates, Lazor Office, Michelle Kaufmann Designs, Steven Holl Architects, and Alchemy Architects.
Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-arc) - Los Angeles. There is a Lecture Archives which includes such architects as:
Steven Holl
William E. Massie
LOT-EK (Giuseppe Lignano and Ada Tolla)
Mikko Heikkinen
yourHouse - Lawrence Sass, MIT.

Last updated 6 August 2011
Copyright © 1996-2011 Digital Librarian: A Librarian's Choice of the Best of the Web. All rights reserved. May not be copied or mirrored without written permission.