Going on now through March 18 is the New London Architecture‘s “Prefabulous London” exhibition. The show is organized around the guiding principles that have made prefab such a crucial component of modern architecture in London: A is for affordable. B is for (lack of) bricklayers. C is for Container, as in the Container City project in the Docklands. The exhibit illustrates how designers have embraced offsite construction and modular components, as the stigma of somewhat brutal post-war apartment blocks fade and more creative, flexible solutions flourish.
But debate is stirring as to whether or not prefab is really going to break open the housing market as we know it.
Even though prefabricated building technologies could potentially redefine the idea of construction, they have yet to take off as a real alternative to traditional methods. All new technology has early adopters and patrons – will this movement find a place in mainstream society or go the way of the dymaxion house? Is this an idea best suited for first time home buyers? Or empty nesters looking for a second/vacation home? And will these assets appreciate like a home, or depreciate like a trailer house as they age and begin to show their years? Sure it’s an exciting idea, but would you invest in prefab?