7 Efficient Prefabs That Prove the Power of Modular Design

Add to
Like
Share
By Michele Koh Morollo
Resolution:4 Architecture creates astounding prefabricated homes that are tailored to their sites and the unique needs of their owners.

Founded in 1990 by Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz, Manhattan–based firm Resolution: 4 Architecture (RES4) works on a broad range of architectural projects, but is probably best known for its Modern Modular design system, which leverages existing prefabrication technology to create homes that meet the specific needs of its owners. In 2003, RES4 won an an international competition for modern prefabricated homes. It’s winning entry, the Dwell Home, was considered the "holy grail" for modern prefab enthusiasts by the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post called it the "highest profile modern prefabricated home in America." The firm, which has won numerous industry awards, has designed more than 120 prefab residences from Maine to Hawaii, using modular, panelized, and hybrid methods. 

We take a look at seven remarkable prefab homes by this prolific and respected firm.  

1. Prefab Family Home on Fishers Island

The inspiration for this prefabricated, modular family home on Fishers Island, New York, were the views that Tanney and Luntz saw from a 12-foot stepladder, which was balancing on the bed of a pickup truck when they first visited the site.

"You’re surrounded by what appeals to most people on a small island, which is the sound of nature," says resident Mimi Parsons.

"You’re surrounded by what appeals to most people on a small island, which is the sound of nature," says resident Mimi Parsons.

The fireplace wall, a Resolution: 4 signature, is made of 14-gauge hot-rolled steel panels with storage components in one-eighth welded steel. On one side is a pivoting privacy panel that allows the guest wing to be closed off. Art attaches to the metal with magnets.

The fireplace wall, a Resolution: 4 signature, is made of 14-gauge hot-rolled steel panels with storage components in one-eighth welded steel. On one side is a pivoting privacy panel that allows the guest wing to be closed off. Art attaches to the metal with magnets.

2. New Jersey Prefab Lakeside Retreat

Debbi Gibbs' prefab home near Lake Iosco in New Jersey has a very permeable structure that allows the interiors to flow outdoors. The house has an open main living area, and a kitchen in the middle with low-level appliances and drawers down below. "I had a very clear idea of what I wanted design-wise, but Joe and Robert have such great expertise in terms of both the restrictions and possibilities of modular units. I don’t think your average architect could waltz in and design a prefab house like they do," says Gibbs.

A New Zealand expat and her son use their prefabricated lakeside New Jersey retreat as an outdoorsy counterpoint to city life.

A New Zealand expat and her son use their prefabricated lakeside New Jersey retreat as an outdoorsy counterpoint to city life.

"The old house was like a cave. I wanted this house to be the opposite: a pavilion," says Debbi Gibbs.

"The old house was like a cave. I wanted this house to be the opposite: a pavilion," says Debbi Gibbs.

3. A Long Island Prefab For a Family of Six

Tanya Wexler and Amy Zimmerman wanted their Long Island home to be durable enough to endure the wear and tear of young children trailing beach sand and dirt from the backyard in their wake. They were drawn to RES4’s system of "mass customization," in which prefabricated modules are inexpensively produced in a factory, trucked to a site, and configured to meet a client’s lifestyle and budget.