Five Modern Prefabs Coming to the MOMA


A much more innovative and original collection of modern prefabs than shown in Wired can be found parked next to the Museum of Modern Art in New York this July. Five architects have been chosen to build prefabs for ""Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling." It is a mix: "I wanted a mix of existing buildings and prototypes," said Barry Bergdoll, the chief curator of architecture and design at the museum, who is organizing the exhibition with Peter Christensen, a curatorial assistant.

The five chosen are: -KieranTimberlake Associates of Philadelphia; (beloved of TreeHugger for the Loblolly House) Lawrence Sass of Cambridge, Mass.; Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston of Manhattan; Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf of Austria (of the iconic Su-si) ; and Richard Horden of Horden Cherry Lee in London (of the micro-compact home)

According to the New York Times, Each firm has a track record with prefabricated housing, but they all approach the form differently. The proposals were evaluated by a jury of MoMA curators and staff members and architectural professionals. The Manhattan architecture firm of Cooper Robertson & Partners will act as the consulting architect in assembling the houses, some created expressly for this exhibition and others designed earlier.

Mr. Bergdoll wants to counter other misconceptions about prefab housing, like the notion that the reason to build them is to save money. While they can be economical, he said, they also have potential environmental benefits. The goal for Mr. Gauthier and Mr. Edmiston, for example, is to cut the most complex prefab pieces with the least waste.

Intrinsic to the idea of prefab housing is serial production, an arguably radical notion at a time when one-of-a-kind homes are so valued. But computerized customization also makes it possible to produce nonidentical objects, Mr. Bergdoll said, adding that the exhibition may explore "the idea that mass production is reconcilable with the individual artistic spirit." ::New York Times