Pittsboro, North Carolina
Even though RES:4's Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz were dabbling in prefab before this house, they burst onto the scene in 2003 when their design was selected in Dwell magazine's challenge to 16 architects to design a prefab house for less than $200,000. Allison Arieff — editor at Dwell at the time and the author of the 2002 book Prefab — penned the foreword to Modern Modular; she recounts how she developed the challenge with real clients. This situation meant that, unlike with many architectural competitions, the house was realized, the first of many to come for RES:4.
Wainscott, New York
While the Dwell Home is made of five modules, Swingline has a total of seven modules (plus a detached garage) in an L, T and Z Series hybrid configuration. Most apparent from the front is how the exterior is primarily solid, to ensure privacy.
Maplecrest, New York
This aptly named house, an L Series Three-Bar Bridge configuration, is made from six boxes that are set upon a hill, taking advantage of views and sunlight. The house seems to reach out from this perch toward a distant vista.
Palenville, New York
The remarkable thing about the modern modulars is how well the design was established from the get-go. The changes to the houses since the Dwell Home was realized are minimal, more refinements than dramatic evolution. But this house in the Catskills points to the flexibility of the process. For one, the modules in the this Two-Story Single Bar configuration were cut to allow for delivery via the narrow and winding roads. As well, the house incorporates site-built stone walls as particularly strong elements that root the house in its location.
East Quogue, New York
The last house in this ideabook is the last one in the book, a house at the east end of Long Island. A Two-Story Double-Wide, it is small and compact for the area, where houses are "rural fortresses," in the words of RES:4. Expansive windows open the house to beach and water views, but I'm drawn to the oculus above the second-floor terrace.