10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest

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By Jonathan Simcoe / Published by Dwell
Peruse these 10 inspiring examples of how prefabricated dwellings can challenge typical assumptions of customization and quality.

The Pacific Northwest is known for driving forward the causes of environmentalism, energy efficiency, and eco-consciousness. These 10 buildings showcase the diversity and range that can be achieved in prefabricated dwellings, both in accommodating customizations and reducing footprints on the pieces of land they occupy.


Gambier Island Prefab

Location: British Columbia, Architect: Turkel Design 

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 1 of 10 -
10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 2 of 10 - Architect Jesse Garlick’s rural Washington vacation home references its rugged surroundings. The steel cladding has developed a patina similar to the ochre-red color of bedrock found in the area.

Architect Jesse Garlick’s rural Washington vacation home references its rugged surroundings. The steel cladding has developed a patina similar to the ochre-red color of bedrock found in the area.


Delta Shelter

Location: Mazama, Washington, Architect: Olson Kundig Architects

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 3 of 10 - Olson Kundig Architects' Delta Shelter, in Mazama, Washington, is a 1,000 square-foot steel box home with a 200 square-foot footprint. Photo by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects/TASCHEN.

Olson Kundig Architects' Delta Shelter, in Mazama, Washington, is a 1,000 square-foot steel box home with a 200 square-foot footprint. Photo by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects/TASCHEN.


Mayacamas Residence

Location: Lake County, California, Architect: Taalman Koch Architecture

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 4 of 10 - A longtime fan of the Case Study houses of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, Terry Ohm was attracted to the iT House, by Taalman Koch Architecture, for the design’s "transparency and minimalism." His customized, smaller-scale version stands on a rural plot of land in Lake County, California. Ohm sits on his broad front steps often and appreciates their strong visual impact: "The house is so little, you’ve gotta go for grand wherever you can get it!"

A longtime fan of the Case Study houses of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, Terry Ohm was attracted to the iT House, by Taalman Koch Architecture, for the design’s "transparency and minimalism." His customized, smaller-scale version stands on a rural plot of land in Lake County, California. Ohm sits on his broad front steps often and appreciates their strong visual impact: "The house is so little, you’ve gotta go for grand wherever you can get it!"


20-Module Prefab

Location: British Columbia, Architect: AA Robins Architect

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 5 of 10 - The main building sinks then elevates in full view of ocean.

The main building sinks then elevates in full view of ocean.


Kitsap Peninsula Prefab

Location: Olalla, Washington, Architect: Method Homes

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 6 of 10 - Christopher: Olalla, Washington, is a small rural community on the Kitsap Peninsula accessible to Seattle via ferry, or a long drive through Tacoma. We're about one mile from Puget Sound, one mile from a freshwater lake and a few miles from a popular sailing harbor. We're Olympic Peninsula adjacent, and, most importantly, we are less than 45 minutes from Amy's favorite oyster farm in the Hood Canal, Hama Hama. In addition to a family of deer, dozens of birds, and hundreds of frogs, our property is also home to occasional wandering coyotes and a very strange-looking creature that Amy has convinced herself is a chupacabra. There are cougars and black bears in the area as well, but thank God we haven't eyeballed them yet.<br><br>Amy: For us, the primary driver for us to move from Los Angeles and abandon our urban existence was our love of the property.

Christopher: Olalla, Washington, is a small rural community on the Kitsap Peninsula accessible to Seattle via ferry, or a long drive through Tacoma. We're about one mile from Puget Sound, one mile from a freshwater lake and a few miles from a popular sailing harbor. We're Olympic Peninsula adjacent, and, most importantly, we are less than 45 minutes from Amy's favorite oyster farm in the Hood Canal, Hama Hama. In addition to a family of deer, dozens of birds, and hundreds of frogs, our property is also home to occasional wandering coyotes and a very strange-looking creature that Amy has convinced herself is a chupacabra. There are cougars and black bears in the area as well, but thank God we haven't eyeballed them yet.

Amy: For us, the primary driver for us to move from Los Angeles and abandon our urban existence was our love of the property.


Economical Modular Prefab

Location: Bend, Oregon, Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 7 of 10 - Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s design for the Verheyden clan is instantly legible from the back deck, where the repetition of trusses, windows, and lumber creates a strong linear profile.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s design for the Verheyden clan is instantly legible from the back deck, where the repetition of trusses, windows, and lumber creates a strong linear profile.


Modern Multiunit Prefab Prototype

Location: Vancouver, Architect: LWPAC

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 8 of 10 - Architect Oliver Lang and his partner, Cindy Wilson, created Monad, a multiunit prefab prototype in Vancouver.

Architect Oliver Lang and his partner, Cindy Wilson, created Monad, a multiunit prefab prototype in Vancouver.


Big Rock House

Location: Methow Valley, Washington, Architect: Johnston Architects

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 9 of 10 - Project Name: Big Rock House

Project Name: Big Rock House


Hyper-Angular Family Home

Location: Portland, Oregon, Architect: Skylab Design Group

10 Outstanding Prefabs in the Pacific Northwest - Photo 10 of 10 - The house's triangle pattern is also visible in the skylight hovering over the double-height main space. The ceiling beams are designed to resemble a honeycomb.

The house's triangle pattern is also visible in the skylight hovering over the double-height main space. The ceiling beams are designed to resemble a honeycomb.


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