Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Prefabricated

ROKU Edogawa drop-in cafeteria (Photo © Kai Nakamura)

Architects, it seems, are increasingly interested in transforming a building's use without making permanent changes to the fabric itself. If the BEEBOX we covered in January (a sort of drop-in, self-contained office desk) is exhibit A, then B is an altogether grander intervention. A design team led by Tokyo's Masatomo Kojima has cooked up ROKU Edogawa, a flexible aluminum structure designed to transform any interior space into a cafeteria.  Read More

The Modularflex folding emergency shelter

Argentinian designers Matías Alter and Matías Carrizo have developed the Modularflex emergency response shelter in response to what they see as shortcomings with other designs. Generally, alternatives either require on-site assembly, which may require skilled hands; or they come pre-built, making transportation difficult and inefficient. The simple folding design of Modularflex sidesteps both problems.  Read More

WFH House by Danish architectural studio Arcgency, incorporates the use of recycled shippi...

It’s no surprise to see the popularity of shipping container homes increase in recent times, especially when architects just keep getting more and more creative with what they can do with them. Adding to the list of innovative shipping container homes is the prefabricated WFH House, which incorporates the use of recycled shipping containers into a modular building system. Designed by Danish architectural studio Arcgency, the home is also coupled with a online personalization system that allows clients to customize their own home, including its layout, size, facade and interior.  Read More

The Italian city of Trento donated this colorful auditorium to earthquake-affected Aquila ...

In April 2009, the historic Italian city of Aquila was affected by a devastating earthquake and has since been struggling to recover from the estimated 10 billion euros in damage. In an effort to raise community spirit and further aid the disaster recovery, late last year the Northern Italian city of Trento donated this colorful auditorium designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.  Read More

Softkill Design's ProtoHouse 1.0 (Image: Softkill Design)

London-based architecture team Softkill Design has entered the race to create the first 3D printed house. Unlike the first plans for 3D-printed houses that emerged at about this time last year, Softkill thinks that the future of 3D printed housing lies in prefabricated components rather than printing houses whole using vast uber-printers on site. By using plastics rather than sand or concrete, Softkill may just have hit upon a concept that actually feels... 3D printery.  Read More

Furnitecture: the Bunkie (Image: BLDG Workshop/608 Design)

You can erect a prefab shed in a remote field, but that doesn't make it a house. Mercifully, Nathan Buhler of BLDG Workshop and Evan Bare of 608 Design are more circumspect when it comes to their collaborative effort, the Bunkie. Talking to Gizmag, Buhler said that he thinks of the design more as a large product than as small-scale architecture. Effectively a spare room you can put in your yard, we think that's bordering on understatement.  Read More

Method Homes' Cottage prefabricated house

Whisper the words "prefabricated home" to yourself, and the image you'll conjure (if you're of like mind to me) is a distinctly modern arrangement of single-story cuboids made of cutting edge lightweight materials (or if not then of reclaimed or sustainably-grown natural matter instead), probably with scant decoration or adornment. Method Homes' Cottage Series comes as a welcome twist on the prefabricated house, adopting as it does a more traditional late 19th century American style.  Read More

On trial in Amserdam, Beehive's new BEEBOXes are secure, mobile self-contained one or two-...

Buro Beehive transforms disused buildings into flexible workplaces for creative entrepreneurial types. These sorts of "co-working" spaces are becoming ever-more familiar features of modern cities. Beehive's new BEEBOX offers something new, however. These secure, mobile self-contained one or two-person offices may just give its work hubs an edge.  Read More

AbleNook is a new prefabricated living prototype that “snaps together” in a matter of hour...

A few years back, young architects Sean Verdecia and Jason Ross put their heads together to come up with a cheap, flexible and mobile emergency housing system that would provide families with dignity and privacy during a natural disaster. The challenge, which was part of a research project for the University of South Florida, led the team to develop a new prefabricated living prototype that “snaps together” in a matter of hours.  Read More

Carter Williamson's Shelter on show at last year's Sydney Architecture Festival

With its modestly named Shelter, architecture firm Carter Williamson has thrown its hat into the disaster response emergency housing ring. Here, the emphasis appears to be on flexibility, Shelter having been designed for easy transportation and rapid construction in a range of less-than-ideal circumstances. Most interesting is that the prefabricated Shelter is also designed to be built using scrap materials recovered from disaster zones.  Read More

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