Prefabricated homes have come a long way since the days of kit houses, found in the early part of the 20th century. Kit houses, literally were a kit that included the entire contents and plans, to build a home. This allowed homeowners the freedom to build their own houses. Sears, Roebuck and Company was one of the first successful examples, with sales reaching around 100,000 kits sold within a forty year span.
Surprisingly, there are still examples of these kit houses standing. One such example is the authentically themed Old Florida seafood restaurant, Owen’s Fish Camp in Sarasota, Fl. The main dining room is a genuine Sears & Roebuck catalogue house from the 1920's. Upon entering, it immediately takes you back to a time, when life was more simple and things were made to last.
Today, pre-fab designs not only pride themselves on being modern, sustainable and more affordable than traditional construction, but famous architects are even designing these stunning homes.
Take LivingHomes, whose first line of prefab homes, was designed by celebrated architect Ray Kappe. Known for his clean and modern aesthetic, Kappe integrated his signature step-down living room and suspended levels. This model home was built for LivingHomes CEO, Steve Glenn, who reported that it took a mere 8.5 hours to place the eleven modules, that comprised of the Ray Kappe LivingHome. It became the first certified Green Building Council's LEED Platinum home, in the history of the United States. What an amazing feat and example to the rest of the building industry!
This home not only embodies the principals and aesthetics of the mid-century modern movement, but contains a serenity and flow, not often found in modern pre-fab homes. There is a timelessness that quickly allows you to forget, that such a home was assembled in a day. It is this very type of design and ingenuity that will drive sustainability and demand, towards smarter development, design and building.
As we move towards a deeper understanding of the limited resources available and a consciousness to design and build, with an awareness of this understanding, we will be utilizing the advancements of companies like LivingHomes.
With a surge and interest in tiny homes and prefab buildings, people are moving away from McMansions and into spaces that resonate deeper with their lifestyle, interests and ethos. Prefab construction and homes, designed with a small footprint, naturally use less resources to build and have minimal site disturbances.
It is clear that this “trend” is here to stay and guide builders and designers in creating spaces that not only comfort us but inspire us to live more conscientious lives. LivingHomes has proven that luxury nor aesthetic is ever compromised.
We are at a time, where these crucial decisions, to build better and smarter, are at the forefront of more than just the environmental movement.
Astrid Design Studio has been nominated for Best Blog in Architecture. Please vote, polls close on April 24th!