Inspired by the recent Modern Dream Homes article I researched on House H by Susanne Nobis, I decided to look for another example of a home that made use of prefabrication in its construction. After further research, I came across the website of Seattle-based architecture firm Anderson Anderson and found this wonderful example of modern prefabricated home design in Granite Falls, Washington.
Prefabricated homes are slowly gaining traction in the discerning housing market. They offer two rewarding elements over traditional construction methods, which are things we all love: Time and Money. Situated on top of a hill in Granite Falls, Washington, which is about an hour outside of Seattle, this home takes full advantage of its lofty position and commands spectacular views of the surrounding Cascade Mountains.
For those interested in the technical aspects of the home, the building system is a marriage of two common, standardized, mass-produced building elements – a prefabricated steel structural frame (of the type commonly manufactured for light-weight commercial structures), and a structural insulated panel system (SIPS) that provides all non-glazed building envelope areas. Significant economies are achieved by using the same low-labor structural panels for walls, floors and roof. The system is designed around a small number of interchangeable, rearrangeable assemblies for efficiencies of time and cost, and to minimize the environmental impacts of on-site construction.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the design features of this wonderful home. The main living area showcases the homes strengths, with large floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the room with natural light and provide breathtaking views of Mother Nature and access to the outside terrace. Furnished in a contemporary and minimalist style, I love the stone top coffee table and the use of the tree as feature pieces for contrast and texture.
The bathroom is tiled in luxurious dark natural stone tiles which are offset by a large picture window that allows this small space to feel more spacious than it actually is.
The stairway is an interesting contemporary design of natural colored woods and stainless steel framework, with the continuation fo the wood in wall paneling up the stairwell that provides a cabin-like feel.
Last, but not least, is my favorite, and fun, design feature of this home – the outside shower. With no close neighbors, the home is able to allow the occupants, and perhaps even open-minded guests, to be at one with nature and shower in the great outdoors. This type of architectural detail is a fun way to give the home a unique feature and talking point.
Though there is still a stigma in many minds that this type of home’s future value is less than the sum of its parts when compared to a traditionally-built home, I for one would consider either building or buying a prefrabricated home. Connecting prefabricated sections onsite is much faster and more economical than traditional construction and, one has to believe, maybe less harsh on the environment. Regardless of one’s position on the pros and cons of prefabricated versus traditional, based on esthetics alone this is very much a Modern Dream Home.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 6 April, 2010