Monday, January 07, 2008

Small and Fabulous: Modular Living

Single Hauz
Price not available
About 200 square feet
Image: Front Architects
The Single Hauz, from Poland, offers cantilevered space for one atop a cement pole, and looks like a cross between a billboard and a scene from the Myst series.

The Katrina Cottage
308 square feet
Image: Cusato Cottages
A modest-but-charming modular home created by Marianne Cusato and Eric Moser to help house victims of the hurricane, Katrina Cottage is a "grow house" that could eventually become just one portion of a much larger building.

Contact for price
42 square feet
Photo: Modular Dwellings
At 6 by 8 feet, these bungalows are smaller than most single rooms from even the smallest homes, but they still pack in pull-out beds, storage shelves and electrical outlets.

$64,500 to $109,500
350 to 660 square feet
Photo: weeHouses
As customizable as a car - there's even an online color picker to go with options ranging from fancy siding, overhanging roofs and various other extensions to the "base model." One can customize details right down to bathroom fittings and exterior lighting.

Icosa Pod
108 square feet
Photo: Icosa Village
Like props from a crazy old sci-fi movie, Sanford Ponder's Icosa Pods come at an extraordinarily low price: only $2,150 per pod. The trade-off is durability -- they aren't intended to be permanent structures, with cardboard panels snapping together like Legos.

The Rotor House
Pricing unspecified
350 square feet
Photo: Hanse Colani
Built around a giant metal cylinder, the Hanse Colani Rotor House is small, sexy and damn strange. Within that cylinder are a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom: It rotates so that each room faces the main living room, as needed. You even get a remote control to send it spinning.

From $100 per square foot
Variable Sizes
Image: Versadome
Crafted to mirror "ancient architecture" and "the clean details of a yacht," a Versadome aims to be both compact and spacious, with seamless roofing and modular stackability inherent in the design. Add a bedroom, throw on an extra bathroom -- everything comes delivered and ready to plug in to your planned 'dome setup.

Cost: $35,000
60 square feet
Photo: Tumbleweed Houses
Biensi can be delivered for $35k or built yourself for about $14k. It's probably one of the few things on earth that can boast a "cathedral ceiling" despite being only 60 square feet and warmed by a boat heater.

420 square feet
Photo: Loft Cube
Werner Aisslinger's Loftcube is a singular creation, with a singular intent: It goes on an existing roof. It has tall windows and a certain retro look, perfect for taking over the world's rooftops. "Imagine a place where your neighbors fly and windows are 360 degrees wide, a place where you can work, relax and share your life with your friends," the makers ask. And it's yours for $136,000, deposited in situ by helicopter.

Modern Cabana
100 square feet
Photo: Modern Cabana
Founders Casper Mork-Ulnes and Nick Dammer redefine the word "space" to mean, "Sufficient freedom from external pressure to develop or explore one's needs, interests and individuality." In other words, you won't be getting much of the conventional idea of space in this house. Inspired by Mork-Ulnes' idea of the perfect fishing cabin and Dammer's idea of owning a home he could carry on the back of his bike, the Modern Cabana could pretty much go anywhere and expand to be anything, be it toolshed or a second home.

Radziner's Prefab
About $100,000 per module
250 to 700 square foot per module
Image: Marmol Radziner
Ground-to-ceiling windows, beautiful wood floors and recycled steel frames. Shipped finished and installed as part of the service, the modularity is inherent in the simple design and straightforward geometry.

The Microcompact
Cost: €25,000
77 square feet
Photo: Micro Compact Home
The creators, m-ch of Austria, have somehow stuffed a bed, bath and some fancy gadgets into a 10 by 8 foot-ish floor plan. At about $50,000, however, that's about $650 for every square foot -- more than enough to get a pad in Manhattan or downtown London.

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