Learn more about prefab architecture as explored in the exhibition Some Assembly Required: Contemporary Prefabricated Houses. The Web site includes an essay, primer, and timeline on prefab architecture as well as information on featured projects and links to the exhibition audio tour.
Today’s prefab movement has captured the spirit and imagination of a new generation of architects and home buyers, who together have championed a variety of modern modular dwellings that challenge preconceptions about “prefab” homes as cheap, cookie-cutter structures of last resort. This exhibition presents a variety of approaches to prefab—from houses owners can build from a kit of parts, such as Rocio Romero’s LVL House, to those that arrive fully assembled like the diminutive one-room version of weeHouse by St. Paul-based Alchemy Architects. Among the featured projects are the glimmering sculptural metallic Turbulence House by Steven Holl; Black Barn, a pitched-roof, modern adaptation of a Viking longhouse designed and produced by Pinc House of Sweden; and the playful system of Lazor FlatPak by Lazor Office of Minneapolis. Whether Michelle Kaufmann’s Sunset Breezehouse, which adopts a variety of ecological approaches to living and building, or the precision and craft of Marmol Radziner’s Desert House or the customizable configurations of Resolution: 4 Architecture, such houses better parallel the lifestyles of their owners, who desire more flexible living spaces and want to speed the pace of the building process without sacrificing the quality of materials or construction. For more and more people, prefab meets the conditions that make the dream of owning a modern home a reality.