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Collection by Zachary Edelson

Prefab Units Cluster Together in this Off-the-Grid Guesthouse

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Multiple sustainable features keep this prefabricated building, designed by MOS Architects, cool and energy-efficient despite its New Mexico desert surroundings.

Located 120 miles east of Albuquerque, it's not hard to see why this building - titled the Element House - needed to be self-sufficient. Designed by MOS Architects, the residence was commissioned by the Museum of Outdoor Arts to host guests visiting a nearby installation: artist Charles Ross' Star Axis, a massive outdoor stellar observatory. The aluminum-clad structure consists of several prefabricated units joined to make a three-bedroom residence, complete with a living room, dining room, and kitchen. The 1,543 square foot project was built to Passive House standards, meaning it's hyper-efficient in insulating from energy loss (or in this case, energy gain from the desert heat).

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