This modest single family home is assembled using techniques of modularization and prefabrication. Two prefabricated modules, one for private space and one for social space, are set apart on the lot. A gallery-like solarium is built onsite between them. Spanning between the modules, this center area can be entirely free space. Combining prefabrication and onsite building methods addresses many of the requirements of an urban infill project: affordability, ease of assembly, and customization.

Modularization can reduce construction time by 2x and waste by 4x. The end product also tends to be of a higher quality since it is fully enclosed within the controlled conditions of a manufacturing shop.

The living module remains a single, lofty space with particular zones (living, dining, cooking, reading) marked by the equipment that serves them. A shelf, a cabinet, an island, a step -- these built-ins keep the space useable and tidy. A linear skylight along the western wall unifies the spaces and combs the room with a blade of light over the course of the day.

The sleeping module is a series of compact, cozy rooms separated by utility spaces.  Each room has cross ventilation and great light.

This residence celebrates the tectonic assembly of its prefabricated modules. The detailing at the corner delaminates the wall section: exterior-loaded insulated and an exoskeleton-like cladding system cut away to reveal the thickness of the structural insulated panel (SIP) framing and deep-set windows. The longitudinal glulam beam and helical pier footing also peek out at the corner, like a stocking and shoe from under the hem of a well-tailored suit.

BENJAMIN OLSEN WORKSHOP | Fall 2020

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