PREFAB FRIDAY: Studio 804 Wins Home Of The Year

by , 11/17/06

Studio 804, University of Kansas School of Architecture & Urban Design, Green Prefab

Since the last time we touted Studio 804’s design/build prefab projects, the University of Kansas studio group has completed construction and landed the prestigious Home Of The Year Award, given annually by Architecture magazine. Their prefab Modular 3 home, which was conceptualized, designed, and built all within a twenty-week long semester, earned the award with its modular framework, environmentally-friendly materials, and gorgeously modern aesthetic.

Studio 804, University of Kansas School of Architecture & Urban Design, Green Prefab

Environmental sustainability was a big part of the design: only eco-friendly materials were chosen (water-based sealants, bamboo flooring,) and energy efficiency was maximized through the use of recycled cellulose insulation and efficient HVAC units.

This stunning finished house is a great example of how effective prefab construction can be when it is well designed. Although we have seen many great ideas for prefab projects, it is such a small proportion that makes it off the drawing boards and into construction, much less into mass production. Drawing on the experience of previous projects, Studio 804 was able to design and construct a home employing off-site, modular construction techniques as well as environmentally friendly materials, in a mere 20 weeks. For that alone, they are totally deserving of the Home of the Year award. Congrats to Studio 804!… We hope more architecture schools will follow in your footsteps.

Read more about the design here >

+ Studio 804 Modular 3

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  1. Olaotan February 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Seeing things which are so simple yet invoke emotions from within are what makes architecture dynamic. Would it be applicable in a tropical environment(like my country Nigeria)in terms of cost effectiveness if mass produced though?

  2. Tom Darnell June 13, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Nice design. The idea has some promise. This design does seem very short on storge however. In the late 60’s a company in Whicita Kansas worked on a similar idea, I think it was funded by Jack DeVore. There seemed to be some economic issues. In that era getting building code approvals was a major roadblock. Today it seams some of these obsticals have been overcome, but local communities tradesmen will still make the effort difficult.

    I would like to see the university do a cost study that would define the costs of this project in a manufactured enviornment.

  3. mzerdi toufik April 26, 2007 at 6:52 am

    great work , but it’s possible to see the diffrent plan and interior design .

  4. Bryce February 14, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    A previous Studio 804 project was designed for a family where one member had mobility issues. There was an open house for that particular project and the place was a model of universal design.

  5. Anne Brewer December 18, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    We live in KC and have 120 acres where we want to build a small weekend cottage that is entirely off the grid. Can you recommend someone for us to work with in the area, who is well-versed in this type of design? Regards, Anne Brewer

  6. R Stella November 29, 2006 at 2:16 pm

    Check out The PBS six part series “design-e2″

  7. andy d November 23, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    is the floor plan published somewhere?
    great job- love to see more interior images

  8. David - In Bali November 21, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    Brad & Jill, yes, yes – green build is fast becoming a marketing tool by the home building industry and enough is never enough for them. Long life; it’s one of the most over looked aspects of building green. As I much as like this house, one would have to view it in its intended setting – a development – land use also being an issue! Critisism may then lean towards trailer like if the box is repeated.

  9. laura November 21, 2006 at 5:59 am

    Looks great to me. It’s sits well in it’s surroundings and looks like fun to live in. If i had the money i would definately look into something like this. i love how modern it looks.

  10. david November 19, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    “It looks like the antithesis of Universal Design.”

    Who said it was universal design? The design thesis was sustainable prefab, not handicapped accessibility.

  11. some guy November 19, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    Brad is right about shipping bamboo. difficult to speculate on where the designers of this house got their bamboo. on the other hand, their website specifically states that the external cladding was intentionally sourced locally to avoid the pollution, etc related with shipping wood from one place to another. at a minimum, the designers are cognizant of the issue that Brad raised and tried to solve the problem in at least one aspect of the house.

  12. Jill November 19, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Brad-

    Bamboo can be grown anywhere and is often grown in North America – its not exclusive to Asia. That said, I know a lot of bamboo flooring comes from in China – and of course, the shipping of material across the Pacific isn’t very sustainable…….but it is still a lot better than using tropical hardwoods or even chopping down North American forest to make flooring. Bamboo grows SO fast that is really is much more renewable and thus more sustainable than any type of hard wood.

    That said, your point about consumer culture is spot on. One of the biggest problems facing sustainability today is getting people to get over the idea that they have to keep purchasing “new” things all the time. Well made and well designed things can last for hundreds of years and that is TRUE sustainability.

  13. brad November 19, 2006 at 1:26 am

    I constantly hear about materials such as bamboo being green. On some level I suppose that they are, but how green is it to transport a product from asia to use in the floor of a home in north america? Is it sustainable to continue to build buildings such as this, or are we better off takeing lessons from the past? In other parts of the world, there are homes that have been occupied for centuries. That is green or sustainable to me. I love great architecture. I would like to see buildings designed to last for 300 years. I know that our consumer society doesn’t appriciate that type of thing much anymore. Perhaps eventually we will look at things differently, but I think we will be forced into it.

  14. thomas gathman gallery November 19, 2006 at 12:58 am

    at first glance it looks like a semi-truck trailer without the cab–at second glance it looks like a hip mobile home park—and finally at thrid glance looks like good architecture—thomas gathman

  15. jean harrington November 18, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    It looks like the antithesis of Universal Design.
    Those steps leading up to it and even the other entrance, are enough to give me nightmares.

  16. arjun November 18, 2006 at 12:25 am

    the house sold for roughly 160k. I dont know how much the house would cost if mass produced, however (less, of course, but how much less…don’t know). -arjun

  17. J. Taylor November 17, 2006 at 3:18 pm

    As good as this house sounds – and looks! – I would be interested to know how much it cost … as both a one-off and, potentially, if put into production. Reason for asking: during the small amount of research I’ve done, prefab appears to be drift towards the upper end of the market; thus having little practical application. [I’d be happy to find out I’m wrong in my perception :-).]

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