Most people associate Resolution: 4 Architecture with prefab — especially their work for Dwell’s custom prefab collection. The last time we saw RES4 was, in fact, at Dwell on Design, but what captivated us was not so much their gorgeous modern architecture as a little accent piece they created recently for a charity event: a birdhouse inspired by the classic urban tennis-shoes-over-the-telephone-wire trick.

The design emerged amidst explorations into modular construction for urban environments, and strategies for achieving maximum efficiency and minimum waste in residential fabrication. They chose to create these small-scale habitats to experiment with digital rapid (SLA) prototyping. “We are interested in all types of digital fabrication via mill, water jet, 3D printers and contour control sculpting,” says RES4 partner Paul Coughlin, “but the 3D printer seemed the most applicable to our modern modular explorations which exploit volumetric unitization, not surface unitization.”

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The geometry and fabrication process create a continuous surface printable in one volume. The holes both texture the shell and allow nests to peek through. They are also scalable according to the size of the bird they are built for. “The birdhouses can be clustered in various sized groups and slung over a tree branches, creating a (utopian?) bird community,” says Coughlin, “The birdhouse proves that nothing is too small to test grand ideas.”

+ Resolution: 4 Architecture