Ecological zone in Norway brings together experimental prefab and sustainable architectural designs


Experimental and sustainable projects
Kindergarten in a car shop

District in Trondheim concentrates young architects, students and artists who build their own homes and buildings.

On one of those days of blue sky and intense cold, typical of late winter in Norway, I walked a short distance in a district in the center of Trondheim. The area where 240 people live is somewhat peculiar and is different from the rest of the country. In the kindergarten built in a car shop, I found two sheep eating grass and I saw, through the large glass windows, a group of children snacking on round tables. In the district there are also art installations, graffiti, prefab sustainable homes built by the residents themselves and a sense of community and belonging. I'm in Svartlamon, an experimental ecological zone - unique in urban planning in Norway.

Modular Prefab Annex to Weekend House by SOA


Architect: SOA Soler Orozco Arquitectos
Project: Casa Molina
Location: Morelos, México
Year: 2015
Photos: Cesar Béjar

Given the homeowner´s need to minimize all on-site work and construction time to as low as possible for this modular prefab annex to weekend house, prefabricated structure was considered as the best cost-effective and sustainable option. The modular prefab annex includes two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a large terrace for common use.





Prefab modules has an important constraint in their design, the dimensions of prefab elements could not exceed maximum dimensions for truck transportation. Architects planned prefab modules measuring up to 2.4 m by 7.2 m, the standard maximum size of a freight truck platform commonly used for building materials delivery, which also perfectly optimized the use of construction elements and metal sections for the frame and structure. The entire prefab module was put together in the controlled environment of remote workshop, with internal plumbing, electrical installations, light roofing, as well as preliminary ceiling, wall, and floor finishes in the bathroom spaces. 

On site, the ground work had been done and the concrete foundations had been prepared to receive the modular prefab annex. Once there, the prefab modules were assembled and installed, windows and doors put in place, bathroom accessories, lighting, and fixtures installed, and exterior natural stone was applied, before the final finishes and details were attended to.

Mirrored Glass Prefabricated Cabins in Maldonado, Uruguay


Plans
Installation Video
Location
About architects

Project: Sacromonte Landscape Hotel
Area: 60 sqm
Architecture: MAPA
Location: Maldonado, Uruguay
Photography: Leonardo Finotti
Year: 2017-2018

Sliced logs and mirrored glass form the facade surfaces of these prefabricated cabins designed by architects from MAPA, which are located in a beautiful vineyard in Uruguay.

The mirrored glass prefabricated cabins stand on the Sacromonte vineyard with an area of 101-hectare. The vineyard is set within a picturescue valley of dense green grassland crossed by water streams.

Local land owner wanted a hotel that "combined architecture, productive land, hospitality, and landscape", which MAPA with offices in Brazil and Uruguay, helped to create.





The Sacromonte Landscape Hotel comprises 13 prefabricated cabins placed at various locations throughout the valley so that guests can see and enjoy unique and beautiful perspectives and views of the verdant surroundings.

Each steel-frame prefab cabin was assembled in a 10 weeks in Montevideo and after the off-site construction being complete the units were transported 200 kilometres to Maldonado.

"Prefabrication process appears as an ideal solution if you want to achieve high levels of comfort in remote areas", architect Sebastian Lambert told.

MAPA has completed several prefabrication projects. The architects placed a pair of prefab guesthouses in Brazil, on a historic coffee plantation, and has designed a prefab dwelling in an olive grove in Uruguay.

While the prefab cabin's front facade has been crafted from modern material, mirrored glass, its rear elevation is built from stacked wood logs meant to emulate and reflect the appearance of classic woodpiles typically found in local rural settings. The natural stone bases that used for support of the prefab cabins are erected on building site, shaped to perfectly suit each individual cabin's features of specific plot of land.

Cabins roofs have also been covered with appropriate to the landscape camouflaging greenery, and outer peripheral walls feature slatted custom timber sliding screens.

Internally the 60-square-metre prefab cabins completed with a fireplace, cosy reading nook, and a living area with windows that face directly onto the surrounding landscape. The valley will also have a wine tasting hilltop terrace, a restaurant, and a pitched, open-air chapel.


Description from architects:

SACROMONTE CRAFTED WINES | LANDSCAPE HOTEL

Sacromonte is an invitation to meet with the remote nature and the world of fine wines, where sophistication and originality coexist in a new landscape experience.

Its lands of more than 100 hectares (250 acres) are located in a privileged location: the wild mountains of eastern Uruguay. Equidistant from Punta del Este, Jose Ignacio and Pueblo Garzon, it forms a unique ecosystem of enjoyment, of which it is part with its own spirit.

SACROMONTE AS A FIELD OF EXPERIENCES

Sacromonte is a landscape. It is a field of relational forces, of old intensities and new impulses that coexist in a new unprecedented entity.

Thus, nature, production, infrastructures, buildings and energy constitute a field of stimuli to discover, a field of experiences.

SACROMONTE AS A FIELD OF EXPERIENCES

It is a field of forces inter-related between veloces intensities and nova impulses that constitute a unit of precedent.

In this landscape young vineyards interact that adapt to the characteristics of their soils, a hill from which to understand the landscape, green areas of meadow, two reserves of natural water and several streams that run through the valleys surrounded by dense native vegetation. The contemporary explorer is in charge of traversing them and drawing his own script through various scenarios of which he is co-protagonist next to the landscape.





SACROMONTE SHELTERS, A PREFAB EXPERIENCE OF THE LANDSCAPE

The rooms of Sacromonte are born in a factory in the metropolitan area of Montevideo. It is a fast process, less than 10 weeks, to be transported

more than 200km in a single day. When leaving the city behind, the rooms stop being, to become refuges of landscape, stop being objects to become experiences.

In its modular metal structure, which combines steel framing and light steel framing, the simplicity of construction and the efficient use of materials are paramount. Their endings are simple and forceful, the materials are used according to their nature.

In contrast, the walls received by the prefab modules are simultaneously built in place with local stones that take on various organic shapes and are adapted to enable each implantation. They are complete with circular pools that integrate a new sensory experience of the landscape.

The spaces are organized in a sequence of longitudinal layers of different thicknesses between which life develops. The back facade is composed of a stack of wooden trunks that recalls the stacks of firewood typical of life in nature.

The next layer houses the wet areas of bathroom and kitchen, a wood stove and a deep hole ideal for reading a book or a nap sheltered in the landscape. Separated by a wooden plan, it follows the main bedroom, living and dining room, which opens completely to the landscape it faces, being part of it.

The frontal facade is made up of a mirrored glass that covers the prefab cabin with an almost magical effect, positioning it in a tense boundary: between the camouflage and nature and the unreal brilliance of today's technology.


Hotel Revier - Simple and Luxury Modular Hotel in Switzerland


Architects Carlos Martinez Architekten
Location Lenzerheide, 7078 Vaz/Obervaz, Switzerland
Year 2017
Area 4100 m2
Photography Hannes Thalmann, Marc Lins, Revier Mountain Lodge

Construction Process
Plans

Trend-oriented, authentic and natural. When a sports hotel is reduced to the essentials, a feeling of freedom in the face of life and an unconventional architectural concept arise. The long, narrow building perches on the edge of the steep terrain with the mountain forest in the background. The two slightly angled elements of the building follow the shore of the Heidsee.

The front of the building with lobby, bar and restaurant is in a cozy way aligned to the entrance of the Rothornbahn and forms the common center of the hotel. Around four more floors with a total of 96 rooms are compatible with this massive ground floor floor, where the winter sports hall and the large bicycle room are located.





The modular hotel combines the atmosphere of a mountain lodge with the liberating feel of a motorhome and the functionality of a ship's cabin. All rooms are oriented to the west, towards the water and remind of the picture of a VW bus: A park at the lake opens the tailgate and feels a sense of freedom. A large wall-to-wall bed and a room-high panoramic window with ventilation wings reinforce this impression. The rooms are optimized to only 15 square meters. The ceilings, floors and walls are built in modules of unfinished natural plywood: columns, partitions and interior fittings, all in one.

The arrangement of the rooms next to each other creates a double wall effect, which also ensures better sound insulation. The bathroom is installed in a multifunctional box. The fully equipped room modules were prefabricated, allowing for precise execution and rapid design and assembly.

Modern technology and design without influencing come together here, of course. This is obvious both inside and out. The metal façade of the foundation with a vertical design surface, the abstractly arranged window slots and the glazing from the floor to the ceiling testify to thriftiness. On the façade of the four floors of the rooms, the individual modules are highlighted by the protruding metal cladding, and the building is clearly a wooden structure with vertical larch strips, untreated.

The special feature of this luxury modular hotel are its individual rooms, which are inspired by the image of a VW bus. A large wall-to-wall bed, a floor-to-ceiling picture window with narrow air vents and a deep sill and a compact, box-shaped bathroom add to this space. Countless well thought-out details make the rooms special. The heating element in a corner to dry the clothes. The bed can be used as a sofa for watching TV and relaxing and an automatic folding device simplifies this transformation.

The standard rooms, each the width of a bed, are optimized to only 15 square meters. There are also 4 rooms without barriers and 28 rooms with three beds. Each cabin is designed as a room module made of spruce planks, which form the columns, the room dividers and the interior in one. The effect of a double wall is achieved by placing the rooms next to each other, which also ensures better sound insulation. The prefabricated modules are suitable for this design and offer the decisive advantage of high-quality workmanship as well as construction and assembly on site.


Modular Home with Self-Driving Room: Honda IeMobi


Photo
Video

In Tokyo Motor Show 2017 Honda showcased a "Self-Driving Room" called Honda IeMobi Concept. The six wheels room-type minivan, whose name is coined from the Japanese word ie (house) and "mobility", has a 5 sq. m. area and can be attached to a modular house for use as a living room.

Description from Honda:

For the near-future society where everything is connected digitally, Honda will provide a modes of warm, face-to-face “connection.” The Honda IeMobi Concept connects to the home seamlessly, connecting electricity and entertainment information from car to home, and home to car. When parked, IeMobi becomes a “room” with around 5 m2 of living space. By using IeMobi matching the user’s lifestyle, such as a guest room to invite friends, or a mobile pantry for weekend shopping, new possibilities in mobility and lifestyle are born.




Honda IeMobi is a concept module of the smart modular house, but one which you can hop into and drive off in at your leisure.


5 Hours Install Time Prefab House - CasaMONTAÑA, Spain


Manufacturing Process
Plans
Architect Contact

Architect [baragaño]
Project CasaMONTAÑA
Area 100 m2
Location Asturias, Spain
Year 2016
Manufacturing Time 4 month
Install Time 5 hours
Photos Verónica Carreño, Mariela Apollonio

[From b. Lat. Focāris, adj. Der. Of focus, fire]
Place where the fire is made. House. Group of people living together.

"The house is the coat."
- Álvaro Siza

"The house is a dwelling machine."
- Le Corbusier

English clients, in love with Asturias, decide that their second home will be industrialized. Produced during four months in a factory in Madrid and transferred to its final location at 600 km, crossing the Cantabrian mountain range, where it will assemble in only 5 hours. Finally, the black slate roof is placed by a craftsman of the zone. Technology and tradition in the days of Brexit.

The project is developed in two levels, with a simple program that groups the installations in one of the three modules of 2.15 x 5.30 m that conform it. The metal staircase is the central element of the dwelling, around which the program runs and which dialogues with the chimney suspended from the living room. The upper floor contains the two rooms, separated by a light polycarbonate wall that sifts the light.

A prefab home for an English landscaper and his family, actively developed with clients, involved in the project from the very begining outset, showing absolute respect for the rural environment where it is located. A wonderful complex formed by an "hórreo" and a traditional dwelling, in process of rehabilitation is tourist accommodation, that still keep alive the project.

New ways of conceiving housing, a high quality product, that tries to approach to the automotive and aeronautics industry, that allows a future growth of the building offers a way of using the space in a much more dynamic, versatile and rational way.

Prefab Modular System

The fact of produce our prefab homes in a factory and transporte them to the site completely finished, apart from get more control over the quality of work, means several advantages which are listed below.

1. Costs and lead time reduction and therefore faster benefits [4 months].

2. Higher security at work and reduction of potential working risks.

3. High quality construction, meeting the requirements of the CTE and energy Efficiency.

4. Different materials option. Adaptable and exportable housing [Growing Houses].

5. Option of relocate the house in other place [Mobility].

6. Real sustainability from the way of building and used materials. Optimization and Recycling.

7. Noise, discomfort and waste reduction. The main work is done at the factory.

8. Project, design, manufacture and assembly of the prefab house.

9. Structural Safety and precision, overall in earthquake zones.

10. Accessible Housing and elevator option.

The system used for the housing construction is a modular three-dimensional components system manufactured in assembly. The main structure is composed of galvanized steel sheet elements with rigid joints solved by welding, fulfilling all requirements set by the CTE.

The modular construction system manufacturing assembly line not only seeks to optimize energy resources, human and material, but also to optimize in benefit of customization and adaptation of the building.


Prefab Modular House Wikkelhouse, Holland



1. Photos
2. Installation
3. Video
4. Manufacturer Contact
5. Links

Fiction Factory, once a theater scenery company, has expanded its design and construction initiative to include a prefabricated modular home, the Wikkelhouse. The design utilizes high strength cardboard as a main element of the structure. During the production process, the house-shaped mold is wrapped with 24 layers of cardboard — leading to the origin of the structure’ name, which in english loosely translates to ‘wrap house.’ Using the same main components in each structure, the design of each home can differ greatly in terms of overall size and individualized features.

Since Fiction Factory’s initial introduction of Wikkelhouse, the company has successfully installed the structure in various different environments — both natural and urban. One of Wikkelhouse’s natural application remains in London’s Amber Lakes, a nature reserve close to the bustling city. Urban applications include the house’s installation in Rotterdam Red Apple Marina floating alongside the boats and as an office for OVG Real Estate Services in Amsterdam. The company has also experimented with placing the lightweight structure of  prefab modular house on a rooftop of a former coal storage facility in the Hoxton Docks area of London.

Wikkelhouse is made up of 1.2 meter deep segments that can easily be connected and disconnected. The modular setup makes the house highly flexible. Add extra segments for extra meters. Create your own floorplan. Change it later. Truly anything goes.

Each Wikkelhouse is tailor-made by specialized craftsmen. Extra windows, different finishings or your own color scheme - you can make Wikkelhouse even more to your liking.

Wikkelhouse is sustainably produced and made of materials that have minimal impact on the environment. Moreover, the segments can be reused over and over again and are 100% recyclable.

With a weight of only 500 kg per segment, Wikkelhouse doesn't need a foundation and can be placed anywhere you want your prefab modular house to be. On the beachside, in your backyard or even on a rooftop. Looking for a change of scenery? Just move the house to a different spot.