7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs

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By Byron Loker / Published by Dwell
Many architects in California regularly take on the challenge of experimenting with alternative construction methods.

These seven modular homes throughout the state—that make the most of the varied landscape—push the envelope with innovative prefab designs. 

1. A Marmol Radziner-Designed Prefab in Northern California

7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs - Photo 1 of 7 - When Abbie and Bill Burton hired Marmol Radziner to design their prefab weekend home, their two requests were "simple-simple, replaceable materials," says Abbie—such as concrete floors (poured offsite in Marmol Radziner's factory) and metal panel siding—and "the ability to be indoors or outdoors with ease." Deep overhangs provide shade and protection from rain, so the Burtons can leave their doors open year-round and hang out on their 70-foot-long deck even in inclement weather.

When Abbie and Bill Burton hired Marmol Radziner to design their prefab weekend home, their two requests were "simple-simple, replaceable materials," says Abbie—such as concrete floors (poured offsite in Marmol Radziner's factory) and metal panel siding—and "the ability to be indoors or outdoors with ease." Deep overhangs provide shade and protection from rain, so the Burtons can leave their doors open year-round and hang out on their 70-foot-long deck even in inclement weather.

7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs - Photo 2 of 7 - If you're looking to crash in a pad that has appeared in the pages of Dwell, look no further than the iT House in Pioneertown, California. It's available for vacation rental on Airbnb. 

If you're looking to crash in a pad that has appeared in the pages of Dwell, look no further than the iT House in Pioneertown, California. It's available for vacation rental on Airbnb. 

7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs - Photo 3 of 7 - Simpatico Homes founder Seth Krubiner has lived in the prefab company’s nearly net-zero prototype since it was customized and lifted onsite in 2011.

Simpatico Homes founder Seth Krubiner has lived in the prefab company’s nearly net-zero prototype since it was customized and lifted onsite in 2011.

7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs - Photo 4 of 7 - Thanks to a prefab in-law unit, an octogenarian modernist lives independently on a peaceful, verdant site in Northern California.

Thanks to a prefab in-law unit, an octogenarian modernist lives independently on a peaceful, verdant site in Northern California.

7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs - Photo 5 of 7 - The Wedge is among the new cabin designs that will eventually be integrated into California State Parks.

The Wedge is among the new cabin designs that will eventually be integrated into California State Parks.

7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs - Photo 6 of 7 - A 1950s Joseph Esherick home in Berkeley, California, inspired an addition that pays homage to the past yet is poised to host the next generation. In need of more room for their growing brood, Eric and Emma Gimon, with Luc, Paul, baby Louise, and their dog, Nefi, asked for a private space to accompany the house designed for Eric’s great-aunt.

A 1950s Joseph Esherick home in Berkeley, California, inspired an addition that pays homage to the past yet is poised to host the next generation. In need of more room for their growing brood, Eric and Emma Gimon, with Luc, Paul, baby Louise, and their dog, Nefi, asked for a private space to accompany the house designed for Eric’s great-aunt.

7 Glorious Golden State Prefabs - Photo 7 of 7 - With a sleek prototype in Emeryville, California, under its belt, Simpatico Homes sets out to redefine prefab's cost—and footprint. The modular homes are inspired by the work of the postwar developer Joseph Eichler, and founder Seth Krubiner.

With a sleek prototype in Emeryville, California, under its belt, Simpatico Homes sets out to redefine prefab's cost—and footprint. The modular homes are inspired by the work of the postwar developer Joseph Eichler, and founder Seth Krubiner.

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