It's Time for Another Look at Modern Modular

©. Resolution 4: Architecture

Resolution:4 Architecture demonstrates why we loved this so much.

There are a lot of now-famous architects that we used to write about on TreeHugger before they got big, along with their projects. One of my favourite was Resolution: 4 Architecture, which reinvented modern modular housing with the Dwell House and went on to specialize in it, surviving the Great Recession and then thriving to this day.

kitchen north fork bay house

© Resolution 4: Architecture

I haven't shown much of their work in years because it always drew the question, "Why is this on TreeHugger?" They are often big, usually second homes, and I went off in search of greener pastures, falling in love with Passivhaus technology as the new green paradigm.

North Fork Bay House deck

© Resolution 4: Architecture

But this not so big North Fork Bay House reminds me why modular volumetric building (where the box is assembled and finished in the factory) makes so much sense.

In the hands of a good architect with access to a good factory, you get really good quality, tight air barriers and properly done insulation with almost no waste, and very little of the site work that has trades running around the countryside in giant pickup trucks. So it is greener than conventional construction just for those reasons.

North fork bay house plan

© Resolution 4: Architecture

Res4 has developed a series of typologies, all the different ways that boxes can go together, and this one is a "Lifted Double-Wide/Courtyard Hybrid" – two boxes with a hole in the middle on stilts. At 1,650 square feet, it's not so big for a multigenerational home where a family of four escapes from Brooklyn and the grandparents escape from Florida. It's designed to be "flexible and efficient to accommodate both short and long stays simultaneously." I also like that it's built on stilts:

While the home is not located within any official FEMA flood zone, the client was concerned about potential flooding given the proximity to the water. In response, the house is raised on a steel frame, which also allows for views through to the bay upon arrival, improves views from the main level, and creates shaded outdoor space below for parking, playing, and lounging.
Ground floor workshop

© Resolution 4: Architecture

The secondary ground level spaces include a seasonal-use powder room, a beach equipment storage closet, an outdoor shower with easy beach access, and a woodworking shed for the grandfather’s projects – including his latest, a small sailboat.

When you watch the video, it becomes clear why there is so much to love about volumetric modular: 2 boxes, delivered to the site, dropped on the steel, voila: instant house.

Add water and boat

© Resolution 4: Architecture

Just add water and a nice boat. Modular never looked so beautiful.