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.

Modern home with Outdoor, Rooftop, Grass, Metal Patio, Porch, Deck, Metal Fences, Wall, and Wire Fences, Wall. Photo  of Cyclopean House
Modern home with Exterior, House, Flat RoofLine, and Prefab Building Type. Opting for a lightweight, super stable design that eschews traditional weighty materials, the architects created steel-reinforced panels of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS)to form each of the addition’s seven modular parts. They now top a preexisting concrete garage that the architects had previously converted into a three-bedroom home. Photo 2 of Cyclopean House

Opting for a lightweight, super stable design that eschews traditional weighty materials, the architects created steel-reinforced panels of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS)to form each of the addition’s seven modular parts. They now top a preexisting concrete garage that the architects had previously converted into a three-bedroom home.

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, Bunks, Storage, Bookcase, and Shelves. A three-level bunk bed with an additional trundle furnishes the children’s room on the first floor; the cabinetry and drawers are from IKEA. Photo 3 of Cyclopean House

A three-level bunk bed with an additional trundle furnishes the children’s room on the first floor; the cabinetry and drawers are from IKEA.

Modern home with Exterior, Green Roof Material, and House. A hatch door leads to the roof deck, which is lined with artificial turf. Photo 4 of Cyclopean House

A hatch door leads to the roof deck, which is lined with artificial turf.

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