This London Prefab Made of 7 Modules Was Raised in Just One Day

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
Located on a site where two obsolete garages formerly stood is a 935-square-foot prefab home in London's borough of Richmond.

Designed by London-based practice RDA Architects in collaboration with prefab and modular builders Boutique Modern, the building is clad in Shou Sugi Ban timber with fit-outs selected by the owner, who rents it out as a source of income. 

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The foundation was laid out on-site as the modules were being constructed in Boutique Modern's factory. 

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Because of local road transport restrictions, modular construction in the U.K. is limited with regards to the number of modules that can be prefabricated and delivered to a site. 

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To overcome these restrictions, the main living space was constructed with four modules so that it could be delivered from the factory to the site in one trip. 

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The two modules used for the bottom section of the living area were constructed without ceilings while the top two modules were made without floors. 

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When assembled on-site, the four modules came together to provide a dramatic lofted ceiling in the main living room. 

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The house is equipped with a wet underfloor-heating system, and because it's sited under one of Heathrow Airport's flight paths, it's fitted with acoustic lining and sound-resistant windows to prevent noise pollution. 

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The house has an open-plan living area, kitchen, and dining room, as well as two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a utility area, bike storage space, and a sun-drenched courtyard. Boutique Modern worked closely with the owner to design all the interior fit-outs and furniture.

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"We have a versatile build system, which allows us to construct one-off modules easily and affordably. Boutique Modern’s build system is hand-built by skilled workers, which sets us apart from many modular manufacturers who build using machinery that can't be reset to produce one-off buildings," says Lucas Shone, Project Development Manager of Boutique Modern. 

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Project Credits: 

- Architecture: RDA Architects

- Builder, interior design, cabinetry, and structural engineering: Boutique Modern 

- Civil engineering: Leon Clark of Smallville Builders 

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