PREFAB FRIDAY: Cellophane House by KieranTimberlake
Environmentally-savvy and forward-thinking architecture firm KieranTimberlake Associate has high hopes of bringing customized prefabricated homes to the masses starting with their new Cellophane House. As one of the five full-scale prefab productions at MoMA’s exhibit, Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling, the Cellophane House is the latest iteration of the firm’s research and investigation into new fabricating processes and sustainable customized homes. The firm’s goal is to make these homes available at a variety of scales. The prototype is a 1800 square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom house and was assembled on MoMA grounds in a mere 16 days. If its ease of construction doesn’t amaze you, consider the aluminum frame and structural polycarbonate floor plates. Or the easy bolt connections that facilitated the easy assembly and the available built-in environmentally-friendly features, and then you just might be wondering if you covet the ingenuity behind these homes.
Thin photovoltaic panels integrated into the house’s wall can produce enough electricity to run the house entirely off the grid. The walls also include an inner layer of solar heat and UV blocking film to let in plenty of sunlight while also keeping the heat at bay. Ventilation is achieved through a cavity in the wall which keeps the interior cool in the summer and warm during the winter.
Considering that the average lifecycle of a building is a mere 10 years, coupled with an increase in transitory habitation, KieranTimberlake integrated easy assembly and disassembly into the planning and building of the Cellophane House. The modular construction enables the house to be broken down into parts, or to be reused in another residence all together. It also means that the house can grow and shrink as families go from child-bearing to empty-nesters. Renderings indicate that the Cellophane House can serve as a single-family home, or a multi-family complex.
Staying committed to their firm’s philosophy, KierenTimberlake is continuing to research the overall performance of the Cellophane House. While prices still haven’t been determined, the prefab homes are fabricated off site to reduce construction and labor costs. KieranTimberlake hopes to roll out the house in a manner that will make it available to every homeowner.
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