If you read Dwell's February 2009 Process section, you saw the inner workings of the Marmol Radziner prefab factory, where they construct their loved and lauded modern homes. Those of you in Southern California can now see Marmol Radziner's smallest prefab, Rincon 5, live and in person, on display in all of its 660 square feet of glory beside their offices in West LA.
Decked out in green insulation, zero-VOC paint and LED lighting, the Rincon 5 was originally designed as a guest house or vacation retreat but seems in reality to be the perfect size for a rethought home for two. Larger than my current apartment, I would start living in Rincon 5 even as it sits in Marmol Radziner's parking lot; sleek bamboo floors, built-in walnut cabinets and closets, Heath tile in the bathroom, big windows all around.
Of course the price tag is a hefty one. Starting at $179,000 for the basic model, if you want additional features like those tiles in the bathroom, a kitchen island, or polished poured concrete, it's going to cost you a little more. The model they have currently displayed goes for $290,000 and would be shipped from their factory in Vernon (just south of LA) with everything intact: floors, cabinets, tiles, appliances. The whole thing can be solar powered and function off the grid.
So even as the economy tumbles, and even if Rincon 5 is out of reach for many, it points us in a direction that is a more sustainable and more reasonable alternative to an era of McMansions, ever expanding closet space, and conspicuous consumption.
See all the details on Rincon 5 on the Marmol Radziner site.