Marmol Radziner's Rincon 5 Live in LA

Decked out in green insulation, zero-VOC paint and LED lighting, the Rincon 5 was originally designed as a guest house or vacation retreat but seems in reality to be the perfect size for a rethought home for two. Larger than my current apartment, I would start living in Rincon 5 even as it sits in Marmol Radziner's parking lot; sleek bamboo floors, built-in walnut cabinets and closets, Heath tile in the bathroom, big windows all around.

Of course the price tag is a hefty one.  Starting at $179,000 for the basic model, if you want additional features like those tiles in the bathroom, a kitchen island, or polished poured concrete, it's going to cost you a little more.  The model they have currently displayed goes for $290,000 and would be shipped from their factory in Vernon (just south of LA) with everything intact: floors, cabinets, tiles, appliances.  The whole thing can be solar powered and function off the grid.

So even as the economy tumbles, and even if Rincon 5 is out of reach for many, it points us in a direction that is a more sustainable and more reasonable alternative to an era of McMansions, ever expanding closet space, and conspicuous consumption.

See all the details on Rincon 5 on the Marmol Radziner site.

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