Impressed by the Rudolf M. Schindler house in West Hollywood and Craig Ellwood’s Case Study house, water feature choreographer and technology developer Scott Palamar wanted to build a minimalist prototype of his own. And despite his lack of architectural training, he jumped at the opportunity to experiment with a modular structure when he purchased a $5,000 parcel of land in the Eastern Sierra in 2004. "It was around the time prefab was undergoing a revival but was no longer pitched as an inexpensive option," Palamar says. "Still, I felt it could be affordable if done the right way and I enjoyed the challenge of sticking to a limited budget."
From Cavco Industries, Palamar ordered a $35,158 customized model with nine-foot ceilings, insulated walls, and double-glazed windows. Nicknamed the "hybrid home," his new abode is a "happy medium between custom work and a prefab shell," with value-added extras like a garage, an energy-saving water heater system of his own devising, and landscape design. "It’s an ongoing experiment," says Palamar, "but that’s what I like about it."