Ocean Community - Prefab Floating Home Concept

Red Dot Award 2019 Winner

Design: Wojciech Morsztyn, Poland

In the next 10 to 15 years, rising sea levels could bring irreplaceable changes to our environment. Ocean Community creates mobile domestic naval units and transforms the ocean into a habitable space. The creation of these new structures will serve as fully functional living spaces connected with existing land infrastructure so that new ocean communities become a natural extension of coastal cities. Small floating and sailing modules are located 800m from the coastlines, close enough for everyday life on land.

This future mobility concept is a fully autonomous system that easily provide facilities similar to that on land. Autonomous storage modules are created in the stationary centre; they can be easily released and attached to the units by the requested users. Another advantage of the Ocean Community system is its ability to harness sustainable energy such as water, sun and wind. Ocean Community could also be used in the commercial market such as hotels, touristic spots and other habitats.


How to Make Your Prefab Small Home Layout Feel Bigger

It seems that a growing trend among homeowners is to live in a smaller space. Gone are the days when the majority of homeowners longed for huge homes. Today’s homeowners prefer smaller spaces that require less time and expense for upkeep. However, even though the trend is to go smaller when it comes to home size, there is still a significant need to maximize the space that one has.

Prefab Modular Home Additions / Extensions

Prefab Modular Emergency Housing, NYC, USA

Floor plans
About Garrison Architects
About Mark Line Industries
About NYC Emergency Management
About American Manufactured Structures and Services (AMSS)

Design Garrison Architects
Deploy time 15 hours
Location NYC
Year 2015

Description by architects

Developed for the New York City Office of Emergency Management, Garrison Architects was hired by American Manufactured Structures and Services (AMSS) to design amodular post-disaster housing prototype for displaced city residents in the event of a catastrophic natural or manmade disaster. The multi-story, multi-family units can be deployed in less than 15 hours, in various arrangements calibrated for challenging urbanconditions.

This prototype is preceded by more than 6 years of research by the City of New York into emergency housing,” says James Garrison, Principal of Garrison Architects. “Aside from the basics of providing shelter after a disaster, the prototype is innovative because it allows residents to remain within their communities instead of being displaced for months, or even years. “Shelter in place” allows residents to maintain their support networks - their friends and their families. Keeping neighborhoods intact is crucial for successful rebuilding.”

The aim is to create a blueprint for post-disaster housing by utilizing the latest construction technology in conjunction with stringent requirements for safety, sustainability, durability, and universal design. The modules are infinitely flexible: they can be deployed in vacant lots, private yards, or public spaces. When needed, the modules are trucked to a site, craned into place, and plugged into utilities.

“The beauty of the units lies in their inherent flexibility. They can be stacked like legos to create row housing, or they can be interspersed between existing homes and structures,” says Garrison. “These modules aren’t just for New York City - they were designed to meet the strictest zoning requirements in the US, meaning they can be quickly deployed to any corner of the country.”

For the prototype, a total of 5 modules were fabricated in Indiana by Mark Line Industries. They were then trucked to NYC and installed onsite by American Manufactured Structures and Services, general contractor for the project.

With 1- and 3-bedroom configurations, every unit features a living area, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen and storage space. Units are built with completely recyclable materials, cork floors, zero formaldehyde, a double-insulated shell, and floor-to-ceiling balcony entry doors with integrated shading to lower solar-heat gain, provide larger windows, and add more habitable space. Units can be equipped with photovoltaic panels, which will not only alleviate pressure on the city grid, but also ensure the units are self-sustaining.

The prototype will remain on the corner of Cadman Plaza East and Red Cross Place for one to two years, undergoing occupancy tests by NYU Poly and Pratt. Guests will be invited to live in the units for 5-day intervals to fully explore their functionality. Jim Garrison continues: “We spent months honing all of the technical details for the prototype. Now it is time to investigate the intricate details of living in the units full time.” 2015

Modular Prefab Homes by Modscape, Australia

About Modscape
Materials and Engineering Systems Manufacturers

Cliff House - Modular Prefab Home Concept

Floor plans and sections

Area 285 m² (3000 ft²)
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2
Project Year 2014

Imagine waking up every day with a 180° ocean view without leaving the comfort of your living room. Cliff House owners (not yet built) have hired the Australian Modscape office to design their dream home - hovering over the sea, tethered to a cliff edge. Cliff House redefines the meaning of "living dangerously" with its wide floor-to-ceiling openings and delicate metal frame.

The four-story modular prefab home develops below a two-car garage on top of a cliff, virtually invisible from afar. The car is parked at the top of the residence, accessible via a discreet staircase leading to the lower level. Once inside, residents face panoramic ocean views from every room. Spaces are stacked and privacy increases as we descend the stairs; thus, the kitchen is located above the living room, which is above the bedrooms, which have a private terrace on the lower level. The modestly sized  modular prefab home features a full kitchen, dining room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open-roof spa.

The Modscape office is named after modular design, a brand of the team whose designs are based on sustainability and speed of construction. The office was challenged to rethink the notion of modular design in Cliff House design due to its remote location on the Australian coast. The  modular prefab home will be built from several stacked modular units set into the cliff surface through steel piles. In response to extreme conditions, the cliff-facing wall tapers as it descends, creating a sloping glass curtain inside the entire house.

The house resembles a parasite attached to a ship's hull due to its deployment below the cliff boundary. Modscape architects described the house as a "natural extension of the escarpment, rather than an addition to the landscape, creating an absolute connection to the ocean."

Floor plans and sections

Ivanhoe - Modular Prefab Extension, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Floor plans and sections

Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Project Ivanhoe
Project Year 2017
Photography John Madden
Manufacturers Perini Tiles, Tongue n Groove, Lockwood, Interia, Signorino

In search of more space to house the growing family, the clients have opted for a modular prefab extension project rather than moving home. The modular prefab extension is an open space full of natural light, perfectly complementing the original design. A new double height access hall has been created in the middle of the house, clearly demarcating the boundary between the existing architecture and the new project. As soon as we enter this space, we are drawn to look up, where the circular skylight allows full natural illumination of the central space of the house.

In order to adapt to the inclined terrain, the modular prefab extension project had a small soil moving to create different levels between the original floor plan (which is now the children's space), the lobby and the new living area. This subtly marks the different areas of the house, while the same oak flooring has been used throughout the façade to create a sense of continuity between its different parts.

Next to the emptiness of the foyer is the heart of the house - the kitchen space. From the outset, the  clients made sure that the organization of the house's spaces was around the kitchen, carefully choosing the layout and finishes. Along with a large pantry, the kitchen is large enough to house the whole family while cooking, making it a place for meeting and socializing. This space is also favored by the large floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the backyard and the surrounding large trees. Full opening sliding doors provide an even better transition between interior and exterior space - resulting in a relaxed and well-lit space.

Certified woods of different shades complement each other creating a perfect harmony in the facade of the building. The transition between the hollow panel of the curved brise and the solid timbered façade further enhances the volume of this architecture. This curved element is very practical - it offers sun protection as well as privacy, ensuring protection from the neighboring yard. For the couple, the top floor suite is a tranquil haven that floats lightly over the green garden area.

The modular prefab extension project includes active and passive systems to ensure that the home functions economically and efficiently. Thermal gain control; cross ventilation; high levels of natural light; double glasses; high performance insulation; rainwater storage; efficient lighting systems; potable water saving systems; and reverse cycle heating and cooling.

While the team of architects were busy building the modular prefab extension project within the factory, customers were still living in the house with no problem. They had to leave just four weeks before the installation began, while the team coordinated the demolition work and site preparation. The modules were installed in record time in just one day. And three weeks later, the team delivered the complete work so that customers could come in and bring this project to life.

Floor plans and sections

Tamarama - Modular Prefab Home, NSW, Australia

Floor plans and sections

Design Fox Johnston, Modscape
Location Tamarama, Australia
Area 337 m² (3600 ft²)
Project Year 2018
Photography John Madden

ManufacturersAmerican OakJames Hardie CompanyArtedomusSpeed ​​Heat
SignorinoKaldewei VaioEsceaDuPont
Astra WalkerFisher & PaykelBlackened Cambia AshAbey
SiemensTongue n GrooveLockwoodWhisper

Sydney-based clients approached Modscape after working with local architects, Fox Johnston, who developed a project tailored for the growing family. The home should fit their lifestyle through better connections between indoor and outdoor spaces, improved use of natural light, heating and passive cooling.

Modscape staff refined the project and respected the architect's initial intent. The resulting  modular prefab home design perfectly complements existing elements by connecting the front and back garden through the house, optimizing the relationship between interior and exterior.

Using the original housing configuration, the new residence works very similarly and incorporates the existing sandstone base in the landscaping, anchoring the building on site.

Downstairs spaces provide extensive alternative uses for the whole family. Visual integration is maintained between the kitchen, living room, dining room, exterior and office, creating an inclusive living environment with easy access to the beach, no pool required. In contrast, the yard works as an extension of the interior spaces thanks to the large glazed areas. An efficient top floor design comfortably accommodates five bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Designed to capture sunlight in winter and prevent it from warming in summer, the  modular prefab home incorporates movable wooden umbrellas that not only help soften the shape by adding layers and textures to the façade, but also help to prevent solar heat gain. Windows and skylights are used throughout the modular prefab home, maximizing light and producing natural cross ventilation that ensures a comfortable and bright home.

Internally, a palette of light materials, mostly wood, contrasts with the dark exterior. As you enter the front door you are greeted by a generous double-height hall with a staircase reflecting the wooden slats that are used externally on umbrellas. In the living room, wood extends from wall to ceiling to help subtly define the space and complement the oak floor.

Choosing quality materials that stand up to the intensive use of children rather than "colorful" finishes ensures that the result is a lasting and humble  modular prefab home design, yet at the same time elegant and timeless.

Floor plans and sections

Tamarama - Modular Prefab Home, NSW, Australia

Franklinford - Prefab Modular Off-the-Grid Sustainable House

Floor plans and sections

Located at Franklinford in Victoria’s Central Highlands, the four-bedroom modular home is shared between two families, providing a gathering place for the extended family and a place to relax and relish the joys of rural life.

Taking its cues from agricultural buildings in the surrounding farmland, this sustainable house is predominantly clad in Colorbond with accents of Vitrabond. Yet upon approach it’s the radially sawn timber board & batten clad form that commands attention. This beautifully textured façade conceals the calm rural retreat, with the long form providing a sense of enclosure and privacy.

Internally, a light material palette makes for a crisp and spacious prefabricated home. Rooms are washed in white, a marble-effect Caesarstone benchtop is selected, and white laminate joinery is used throughout. These elements create a beautiful contrast against the dark oak timber floors.

The large living wing, separated from the private bedroom wing, is the focal point of the house. Living and entertaining spills outdoors thanks to expansive floor-to-ceiling glazing opening up to a north-facing, sun-drenched deck. Views of the surrounding paddocks and creek are captured the moment you walk in the front door. The window itself becomes an ideal space to put your feet up and relax. Being a rural property, a mudroom laundry with external access was a must –a seat was even included in the joinery brief so that you can take off your dirty boots before heading indoors.

This prefab house is completely off-grid with all services systems designed to not compromise on the clients’ lifestyle. A nearby shed hosts the solar panel and storage system and a large 80,000L water tank is in use.

Like all Modscape modular homes, Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) have been incorporated to create a highly-insulated shell. The house has been oriented to capture the sunlight in winter, particularly in the large living area where the families spend the majority of their time. Carefully considered eaves together with thermally broken, low-e double-glazed windows which minimises solar heat gain in summer.

Project Specifications:

  • Radial timber board & batten cladding with Colorbond Ribbon Strip (Monument) and Vitrabond (Matt Black) cladding
  • Black powder coated frame and thermally broken, low-e double glazed windows
  • European Oak flooring
  • Laminex joinery to kitchen and robes (Parchment)
  • Stainless steel benchtop and Caesarstone benchtop to island (Statuario Nuvo)
  • LPG Euromaid rangehood and cooktop oven
  • Abey undermount sink and kitchen mixer
  • Lockwood door hardware throughout

Project Services

  • Solar panel and storage system
  • 80,000L water tank
  • Septic tank and treatment system
  • Heatmaster open wood fireplace
  • Daikin split systems