Across the Ocean

With a novel use for an ultra-lightweight material, two academics build their ideal home—then ship it overseas for assembly.

On a quiet, tree-lined street in Brookline, Massachusetts, a rectangular pale gray structure sits amid a row of wood-frame houses, many of them dating to the late 19th century. The boxy two-story dwelling is set back from the suburban block, its facade almost entirely opaque, save for a 40-foot-long expanse of glass that faces the street. Despite its stark modernity, the structure does not shock; its scale and colors are subdued. But the journey of the home’s conception and design—prefabricated in Madrid, Spain, sent overseas via shipping containers, and assembled on-site in just nine days—is wholly radical.

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