Having spent over the last decade crafting contemporary prefabricated homes for various clients around the world, the last two years have been especially meaningful for Joel and Meelena Turkel as they’ve been hard at work designing their very own prefab family residence, which was recently featured at Palm Springs Modernism Week.
Given that this would be the first time the couple—founders of the acclaimed firm Turkel Design—would actually reside in one of their completed projects, the dynamic duo used what will soon be their net-zero home as a "living lab" throughout the entire design, building, and delivery process to illustrate the countless benefits of prefab construction.
"Typically, when you hear the word ‘prefab,’ people often think: cheap, fast, easy," explains Meelena. "While that can be true, it’s not true for all of prefab. We use prefab for a number of reasons but the main three are to control cost, quality, and timing."
As with the majority of their projects, panelized prefab was used for the design of this property, which the couple have named the Axiom Desert House. "When you panelize and produce componentry, you can virtually create any section and plan as you have a tremendous amount of flexibility," states Joel. "So for us, this option allowed the perfect balance between precision, predictability, and flexibility."
With two young children in tow, Joel and Meelena wanted much of the 2,110-square-foot abode to be dedicated to the living spaces—specifically the kitchen—while also incorporating a seamless indoor/outdoor connection. "One of our main goals was to create a fun, interactive space that could take on different dimensions, serve multiple functions, and really bring our family together," explains Meelena.
"Because the kitchen has always been the hub of our home, it was really important for us to find an appliance partner where we would be able to take the appliances and intentionally design them into the space," notes Joel. For them, appliances by Dacor provided just that. "The precision of the Dacor appliances and the way they are purposefully designed to facilitate that kind of architectural thinking was a lot of fun to work with, and I think the results really came out beautifully."
"Another feature that drew me to the Dacor product line is the noise level; they are extremely quiet," explains Joel. "And then, of course, the cocktail ice feature—home-run. When I found out I would get regular ice cubes and cocktail ice cubes, I was instantly sold," he jokingly adds.
Now that the Axiom Desert House has been officially completed and revealed, the Turkel Family are gearing up for their big move, and are eager to finally start embracing the Palm Springs lifestyle. "From the learning experience to the joy watching this house come to life," notes Meelena, "I’m really looking forward to having this wonderful big space, with the kitchen being the heart of the home. It’s our own modern oasis."
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