Prefab is making a bit of a comeback of late; the approach is more economical and sustainable than traditional new builds, making buying “off the rack” an increasingly attractive proposition. The simplicity of modern design is a natural fit for prefab, and we’ve seen many successful takes recently, including Vipp’s modular getaways, Portuguese manufacturer Mima Housing, as well as efforts from big names like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Claesson Kovisto Rune.
The added appeal of living in a star architect-designed home is undeniable, but no doubt detracts from the economy of the tactic. A freshly launched U.S. brand found a way to expand the market for off-the-shelf architecture designed by top talent, by basing its selection around a series of multi-purpose pavilions. Launched this past December at Design Miami, Revolution Pre-crafted Properties offers a line of a dozen portable pavilions that bring star power to any event or space. Among the collection is a dining platform by Zaha Hadid and an open-air gallery by Gluckman Tang, both of which were on view at the art-design fair. In addition to a dozen pavilions, Revolution’s line-up also includes half as many homes.
The challenge put to each designer was to create a prefabricated, non-digitally produced, inexpensive building. “We had a lot of freedom to make our own interpretation of this request,” says Ron Arad, one of 20 contributors to the series.
“There has to be an innovation in prefabrication of homes,” says Daniel Libeskind on why he chose to work with Revolution and its founder, art collector and real estate developer Robbie Antonio.”They should be beautiful homes, which are not just standardized units, but modules of beauty and utility – I worked on prefabricated projects before, but these are meant to be a work of art.”
This three-dimensional latticework form is envisioned as a space for relaxation. It offers a sense of seclusion, while maintaining a connection to the surrounding environment.
2 Volu Dining Pavilion by Zaha Hadid
Complete with coordinating furniture, the late Hadid’s limited-edition structure is made by bending standardized materials to shape a curvaceous platform and roof, linked by a single, spine-like column.
Incorporating a variety of forms that allow inhabitants to sit, climb, lie down, or even crawl around, the Japanese architect’s rotating pavilion combines art, architecture and furniture.
Envisioned more as an industrial product than as a piece of architecture, the British designer’s living system can easily be added to or subtracted from as residents’ needs change. The simple aluminum frame supports a bark interior that offers acoustic and thermal insulation on both vertical and horizontal surfaces.
A contemporary take on 1960s Mod models, like Matti Suuronen’s Futuro Houses, Nest Pod treads lightly on the landscape (which can be enjoyed through panoramic windows) and provides 95 square metres of customizable living space.
“The concept could be distilled down to ‘a frame, within a frame, within a frame’ – both framing the artwork, and the landscape beyond, ” say the architects of this collapsible art gallery.
7 The ReCreation Pavilion by Daniel Libeskind
“It’s a place that can never be virtual,” says Libeskind. “A place to really be in and enjoy. I think that with all the digital technology and Oculus Rift and all the equipment that is coming to replace experience, we need something that is physical and connected to fine materials. Something which can be enjoyed day to day that is a sustainable product that can be passed on to future generations.”
8 The Bamboo Pavilion by the Campana Brothers
Fernando and Humberto Campana kept things as simple as possible, basing their design on simple, sustainable materials and an uncomplicated form.
9 The Ellipsicoon Retreat by Ben van Berkel
A tranquil retreat for rest, reading or meditation, the UNStudio head’s space also makes room for conversation and communication. It’s curvy shell is made from woven strands of recyclable high-density polyethylene.
This luxurious escape is surrounded by Wanders’ signature columns, clad in elegant textile and available in Natural, Eclectic and Cosmopolitan variations, each with appropriate finishes and furnishings and a feature wall with a graphic print of wood carving.
It’s a natural fit that the Instrumental House would feature interiors by Kravitz Design – the studio founded by rock musician Lenny Kravitz. Fully fitted out with warm, yet modern materials, and furnishings including brass and leather tables and cantilevered barstools, the one-bedroom home features floor to ceiling glazing.
12 Diago Home by J. Mayer H.
Mayer’s second design for Revolution is a home that balances the function of a private home with the larger community. Large covered terraces provide comfortable outdoor living spaces, while the glass-wrapped interior can be easily closed off with indoor and outdoor wall panels or curtains.
13 The Eros Senses Pavilion by Kulapat Yantrasast
Multi-chambered and multi-purpose, this structure suits any climate, with open and closed spaces that can incorporate a bed or even a private spa.
Lightweight, mobile and multifunctional, Kuma’s contribution can be used in an interior space as a teahouse, or installed outdoors as a meditation room. It’s made from three-by-six-metre aluminum panels that are just six millimetres thick; they slot together employing a Japanese construction technique known as Kengou – which doesn’t require any hardware.
Arad’s contribution was intended for “anyone with a great garden – anyone who has room” and is composed of a row of modular, moulded shells that can be reconfigured and expanded as the user sees fit.