From secluded mountaintops to low-lying apple orchards, prefabricated residences have popped up across some of Northern California’s most beautiful landscapes. From serene weekend getaways to new family homes, these factory-built dwellings all share an affinity for the outdoors and a contemporary aesthetic.
Designed in Minnesota, built in Oregon, and then shipped to a remote Santa Rosa site, the Sonoma weeHouse is an award-winning luxury retreat for an Apple senior design director. Comprising a 640-square-foot main house and an adjacent 330-square-foot guest module, the ultraminimal residence is a custom take on Alchemy’s modular prefabricated housing system.
In response to a client’s brief for a low-impact home with reduced construction waste, KieranTimberlake turned to off-site prefabrication. The factory-built project—consisting of a main house and a pair of guest cabins—was sensitively set into place on a 64-acre site in Willits, and oriented toward panoramic views of the forested valley below.
In Tiburon, a secluded town just north of San Francisco, SHED Architecture & Design reimagined a Nikko Farmhouse kit home from Haiku Houses that was originally delivered and built in 1991. Inspired by the traditional Japanese minka with a luxurious twist, the prefabricated home was assembled with imported Japanese tile, heavy timber framing, and high-end finishes including redwood paneling. The architects reconfigured the interior of the Tiburon house to feel more airy and spacious, while establishing a greater connection to the outdoors.
Named after the mature apple orchard upon which it sits, the Orchard House is a concrete prefab home for a family of four that blends cosmopolitan influences in a rural setting. Designed by Anderson Anderson Architecture, the home is defined by the existing tree grid and it spreads out as a low-lying, single-story volume. Cast concrete construction and prefabrication techniques helped to reduce construction costs.
Commissioned by a daughter for her octogenarian mother, the Sonoma Connect 5 is a 1,600-square-foot in-law unit that follows universal design principles without compromising on aesthetics. After choosing the firm’s two-bedroom, two-bath Connect 5 model, the client was able to modify the design to suit her mother’s needs. The prefab property is located just down the hill from the client’s own home, and it was completed for about a third of the cost of a similarly equipped, conventionally built home.
After visiting Taalman Koch Architecture’s prefabricated iT House in Joshua Tree, San Francisco–based lighting designer Terry Ohm wanted one of his own. He commissioned the firm to design his modular Mayacamas Residence, an off-grid 800-square-foot getaway in Clearlake, California. Like its predecessor, the Mayacamas Residence—also known as the iT Cabin—features a lightweight aluminum frame and floor-to-ceiling glazing.
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