Launch Slideshow

modular 3, kansas city, kan.

judges' award

modular 3, kansas city, kan.

judges' award

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    Studio 804

    Douglas fir siding wraps the outside of Modular 3.

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    Studio 804

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    Studio 804

    Ikea cabinets streamline storage inside.

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    Courtesy Studio 804/Dan Rockhill

    The floor plan.

modular 3, kansas city, kan.

studio 804/dan rockhill

lawrence, kan.

This modular residence by Studio 804, architect Dan Rockhill's student design/build program at the University of Kansas, barely touches the ground. The project sits on exposed-concrete piers, minimizing its impact on the land and paving the way for an energy-efficient insulation system of recycled cellulose. “We wrapped the building like a big burrito,” Rockhill explains. “I think, because we have to wrap the belly of it so tightly, we get a better performance thermally than we do with buildings on traditional foundations.”

He and his 20 students built the home's six modules in a Lawrence, Kan., warehouse, then trucked them to Kansas City, Kan., and installed them on site. Before it even left the factory, the house sold for $165,000.

“It's a straightforward, handsome structure,” said one judge. “I like the fact that it's modular and it works.”

project team / general contractors: Dan Rockhill and students, Studio 804; developer: Jeff Fendorf, El Centro, Kansas City; project size: 1,200 square feet; site size: 0.13 acre; construction cost: $117 per square foot; sales price: $165,000; photography: Courtesy Studio 804.