Sunday, June 24, 2007


There are some fabulous photos from Inhabitat : FIVE TINIEST PREFAB HOUSES, and this is one of them,


"This tiny residential cube packs a highly-functional punch, providing a double bed, bathroom, lobby, dining space for 4-5 people, and state-of-the-art entertainment technology, all for just 50,000 Euros. And size-wise, it measures in at a tiny 2.65 m cubed (roughly 77 sq ft), but incorporates everything a person needs in a home in its super compact design."

Nice photo, but practical?

There are many ways to save the economic and environmental cost of housing. One is to save space. The Japanese, for example, have become adapt at making use of every inch in their homes. They have smaller rooms, less bulky furniture, and use rooms for multiple purposes. Houses can be like high-tech gadgets, like the expensive Microcompact home. This house may be small, but looks highly desirable.

In the photos, most of the prefabs are in the countryside or in the wilderness on their own. One is shown on a rooftop. But can prefabs become an urban housing solution?

My answer is maybe, but not if:
  • they remain detached houses that need space around them

  • they are arranged in a way that wastes space

Prefab designs have to incorporate link walls to the units to allow them to become attached to other units. And then they have to be stackable so that units on multiple floors.

The prefabs can have attached common walls to become like the conventional semi-detached or terrace houses. Or they can become apartments. Still there are other alternatives which you can see in my tessellation planning website. Below is just one of the many possibilities.

In this layout you see detached single-family micro-houses along the entry road; as you enter the cul-de-sacs, you see more. But the houses there are not detached, though the visitor will not see this. The duplex does not have a back yard; it is linked to another house at the rear. And the quadruplex unit is linked to three other units which are accessed from separate cul-de-sacs. Because the houses here look like detached units, but are not, I call them faux bungalows!

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