Residential Design

Vol. 2, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Page 15 of 79

PRO-FILE DESIGN Photos of Odyssey Porch House: Casey Dunn When Prefab Was Fab However, the increasing cost of steel and other materials, of construction labor, of land in booming San Antonio and Austin, and of overhead costs for the growing architectural firm, combined to make the houses more expensive and less accessible to clients of moderate means. Lake/Flato lost the ability to take on the smaller, more modest residential projects that were essential to the character of the firm. As the housing boom blasted on through the early years of the new mil- lennium, many talented architects across the country struggled with how to make good design more affordable and available to a wider public. For a number of entre- preneurial architects, the answer seemed to lie in prefabrication and standardized but "customizable" modules that could be trucked down the highway and under bridges, placed on site-poured foundations, and finished by local labor. Dwell magazine was born amid this new Enlightenment period in home design and construction. Shortly after its found- ing, the publication sponsored a national prefab design competition (won by New York's Resolution 4: Architecture) and launched a prefab house building business in partnership with several architects and the kit home company, Acorn Homes (later Empyrean). Michelle Kaufmann took her Glidehouse prototype to market, as did Rocio Romero her LV Home, Alchemy its weeHouse, Charlie Lazor his FlatPak house, LivingHomes its Ray Kappe house, and so forth. During the birth of the new prefab movement, Lake/Flato was busy with its custom residential business and growing commercial practice. Although intrigued by the possibilities of prefab for the design and delivery of houses, they had not had Top to bottom: The Carraro Residence served as inspiration for the Porch House series. The Miller Porch House was the first of the series and built in a factory. The 2001 Odyssey Porch House was site built. Photo: Paul Hester, Hester + Hardaway Photo of Miller Porch House: Kenny Braun 16 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2017

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