Gallery: PREFAB FRIDAY: Resolution 4 Mountain Retreat


The only thing better than a quaint mountain retreat is a quaint PREFAB mountain retreat. And here it is, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1800 square foot stunner designed by architects Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz of Resolution: 4 Architecture. Set on the loveliest of lovely sites in Kerhonkson, New York, the prefab structure integrates what the architects describe as “lifted bar and 2-story bar” components to create a 2-story indoor/outdoor lofty, loungy space perfectly enhanced by modern furniture and summer dinner party. The owner, who “wanted something modern that had warmth and was organic in its environment,” seems to have met these goals, integrating a modern aesthetic and a long list of green components.

The finished house sits partially on concrete stilts, which provide drama and function, housing a carport underneath. Inside, the trapezoidal windows frame the main “great room” while a butterfly roof channels rainwater. Floors throughout the house are bamboo, and large glass curtain walls act as sliding/French doors to allow for maximum natural ventilation. All this for $200/square foot, which, within the prefab market, ain’t half bad.

Resolution: 4 Architecture has quite the list of impressive projects, from their Modular BirdHouses to their Dwell House.

+ Resolution: 4 Architecture


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  1. some guy March 11, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    After reading through the comments here, I agree wholeheartedly that not building anything at all is definitely green. But we’re not a suicidal race. We need places to live, and this requires usage of natural resources. The job of the progressive architect is to create good design while simultaneously doing the least amount of harm possible and meeting the client’s demands (for square footage, finishes, etc).

    Major companies providing cookie-cutter houses for people certainly don’t care about the environment. It’s up to architects to try and set a better example for the general public to strive for. These houses may be expensive, but as with many other things, there is a trickle-down effect once people start to see how the rich live their lives. Eventually it reaches the mainstream and normal, middle-class people will become familiar with things like FSC-certified wood and solar hot water heaters. Just remember, indoor plumbing and electricity were once considered luxuries. A so-called “green” lifestyle is mainly for the rich (or indigenous people, which is an interesting paradox). But society as a whole will start to take environmental issues more seriously in the next 100 years. They will have no other choice.

    I think people who have a problem with this house have a problem with the term “green” in general. Nothing about humanity these days is green or sustainable – those terms are complete misnomers.

  2. Hugues September 1, 2007 at 7:05 am

    How wide is the house?

  3. rmgott July 21, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    A query for D. Chase Martin regarding his posting mentioning the price of prefabricated modular homes : Can you
    give me the name of the firm you mention, and do they offer modern style prefab options ? Thanks so much.

  4. a parks July 2, 2007 at 1:40 pm


    Ha ha.

  5. MSnyder May 24, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Lovely! We are an older couple moving to Pa. We would like to see homes in the 2,500 to 3,000 sq. ft.. We like colonial style with a three car garage. Can you send us some of your examples?

  6. d.Chase Martin April 24, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    a dose of reality
    Posted by d. martin-www.martinlanealloy. on 4/23/2007 8:48:00 PM

    While vice president of a New York state modular mfg. and as an architect and industrial designer, I take respectful exception to the casual manner in which $200 per square foot is tossed about as a terrific savings. Unfortunately, all the well intended (not to mention very talented) architects who have taken up this most recent fad of the semantically challenged “pre-fabricated home”, have entirely missed the point, and gloss over the fact of relatively little, if any, savings in cost or time of their models. Our modulars consistently sold for $85 – $125 per square foot, and were delivered to site within eight weeks of order. The strategies with which the process realizes such extraordinary savings, cannot be learned in a twenty-five page primer. I urge all such designers to engage a more serious and professional attitude; one commensurate with the enormous potential of concept. Failing that, this most recent interest in this methodology is once again doomed to be shelved for another ten years.

  7. Michelle Tackabery April 23, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    I love these houses, but $200 a square foot is still not nearly affordble enough. The math makes that house $360,000, which doesn’t touch the expense of the land . . . when is prefab ever really going to be affordable? It’s just depressing, if you want to build modern and can’t afford it. You’re pretty much forced to buy a cookie cutter house.

  8. Bob Ellenberg April 20, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    The feature is of a house designed by the architects and it sounds as if it was a commission. I doubt if the architects decided how much land to clear. In addition to the reduced fire hazard, it is probably a rural location that required clearing for a waste disposal drain field. I believe Inhabitats goal is to feature new, innovative, stylish homes with “green” features. There is not one out there that is everyones ideal but this is a very nice home.

  9. Bryce April 20, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Clark, it sounds like you’re saying that building in any kind of undisturbed place is inherently not green. On an absolutist level, I would have to agree. Not building there is the greenest thing possible. That is not the reality of the world though. There are a number of things we could completely quit doing in order to be more green. Some are things we could do easily. Others are impractical, unlikely, or extremely implausible. So I guess I’m asking, is there any way at all to build a green retreat?

    Personally, I love the look of that house. It’s slick. If it is actually green as a building, then I’m impressed. I do question the wisdom of clearing the amount of land they did. Though I would not be at all surprised if it was a contingency of obtaining insurance. The other thing that I think bears consideration is the use of the home. Is it purely a getaway that gets used occasionally, or is it more of a home that someone has built in the mountains?

  10. clark April 20, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    pearl – on board with the idealism of a green prefab. i think it’s great…and i think my comments about other architects lean more towards the idealism of multiple architects pursuing these issues on a collective front. my problem is it looks like a 100×100 ft. section of wilderness was cleared to create a, for lack of a better term, “fabricated” genus loci for the project…that in itslef should make the importance of a such an interesting project void. In other words their effots are great, but is it truly green when you affect an entire plot of undisturbed land?

  11. Downtown Pearl April 20, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    cullen and clark – eeks! what is it? in competition with these architects? is this the reason for all the nasty comments? This is beautiful house perfect for the city dweller looking for country retreat. Get a life please. if you so hate this – what’s your design?

  12. Lorraine April 20, 2007 at 11:59 am

    This is simply beautiful. And yes, while it’s not as green as NOT building, it’s certainly preferable to the glut of 4,000-s.f.+ non-green vacation homes being built in my part of the country and elsewhere. Building will happen, period. Making every decision from size to siting and materials through the lens of environmental respect will go a long way toward making the world better.

  13. fuzz April 20, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Cullen – why so bitter? maybe you want one? I know i do!
    I often enjoy utopian visions of vacation tents in the woods…
    wait, not really. The house is compact, clean and gorgeous.

  14. clark April 20, 2007 at 11:28 am

    not to mention the amount of wilderness it looks like they destroyed to build this prefab. the first two pics tell that story. that being said, we should applaud the fact that Resolution: 4 architecture is attempting/making these strides. How many other architect/design firms are at least attempting this? I would like to know what other “green” materials and systems were used…

  15. jared April 20, 2007 at 11:26 am

    the link to resolution: 4 architecture is coded incorrectly.

  16. Cullen April 20, 2007 at 10:53 am

    how is an 1800sq foot, 2 bedroom ‘retreat’ green? itd be nice if, rather than saying “…a long list of green components”, you actually cited reasons why this is more green than, say, buying a pre existing house and fixing it up. or donating the insane amounts of money spent on this to a cause that makes sense, and then purchasing a tent. big doors dont make up for the land hes jsut displaced. yuck.

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