from the editor

  • the enemy within, part 2

    In our last issue, I wrote about the divide between commercial architects and residential practitioners—about how the former sometimes regard the latter as the lesser professionals. Well, I'm afraid there's also a schism within the residential practice itself—between the custom architect and the...


home front

  • on the boards / sonoma mission

    For years the unwillingness of the production housing industry to consider Modern design has irked Rodney Friedman, FAIA. He founded his San Francisco Bay area firm, Fisher Friedman Associates, in the 1960s, the heyday of popular Modernism. But since then, Bauhaus-influenced design has been...

  • street talk

    We commissioned a recent survey on design in the housing market. Conducted by The Farnsworth Group and sponsored by Andersen Windows, 448 architects, mostly custom, were interviewed. To provide a counterpoint, 150 consumers were also interviewed.

  • kind of, sort of better

    Residential architects care deeply about the dwellings they design, striving always to make them highly livable, well-crafted, and beautiful at the same time. But making those qualities available to custom clients with tight budgets or applying them to price- and market-sensitive production houses...

  • home tomes

    Accompanying the home building boom is a veritable bonanza of books about houses.

  • is the future now?

    Many homes designed for discriminating clients today contain aspects of green building: passive solar orientation, non-toxic materials and finishes, and sustainably harvested woods. But those features are one-off alternatives to conventional construction, not part of a package.


k+b studio


  • meditation in blue

    Dubbledam's concept of overlapping zones and spatial connectivity is most apparent in the master bath.



  • plane view

    How do you transform a 5,000-square-foot industrial space into a comfortable residence without losing that sought-after urban loft feel?



  • urban acupuncture

    After decades of absence from the main spheres of architectural discourse, the phenomenon of the metropolis as a site for research and experimentation is beginning to recapture the imagination of architects. This renewed attention our profession is giving to the socio-cultural, political, and...



  • adding value

    The act of design is an intangible concept that eludes most people. They might know good design when they see it, when they get something they can lay their hands on or walk through.



  • vision: transform containers into housing

    The iMac proved that consumers crave high design within economic reach. Architect Michael Graves achieved household-name status selling teakettles at Target. So when Robert Humble, AIA, and Joel Egan, Associate AIA, insist that prefab is about to take off because the public is demanding design...

  • vision: adapt custom design to prefab techniques

    Like many architects, Geoffrey Warner welcomes change. Years ago, the St. Paul, Minn.–based architect quit his job at a big commercial firm in search of something missing from his professional life: the hands-on nuts-and-bolts of construction. “When you graduate from architecture school, you don't...

  • vision: outsource sales and marketing

    Architect Michelle Kaufmann and her contractor husband, Kevin Cullen, are conducting the ultimate prefab experiment. They're building their own Modern, site-built house in Marin County, Calif., while Kaufman sells the same design as a modular house she calls the Glidehouse.

  • vision: customize modular typologies

    It all started with a loft. Dozens of lofts, actually. For 15 years, the New York City firm Resolution: 4 Architecture has relied on a steady diet of loft renovations. “Doing a lot of high-end residential work in New York, we've learned to maximize each and every inch of space,” says co-founder...

  • vision: control the factory process

    Jennifer Siegal has worked on a kibbutz in Israel, traveled throughout Southeast Asia observing nomadic structures, and lived at the remote Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. But the most important trip she takes these days is to prosaic Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where production of her prefab...

  • new visions of home

    we've investigated a cross-section of prefab-focused firms—some relatively experienced, others just getting their feet wet. read on to meet the seven bright sparks that charge that prefab housing is more than just a flash in the pan.


architects' choice

  • white sheets

    Konyk Architecture: Conan acrylic-based solid surface is a durable, maintenance-free product.

  • bowled over

    Konyk Architecture: TOTO's Ultimate toilet features a power gravity flushing system.

  • color blocking

    Konyk Architecture: LightBlocks are light-transmitting Plexiglas panels.


doctor spec

  • concrete remix

    Long before mid-century Modernists sang the praises of concrete, early pioneers recognized its practicality, strength, and versatility.



off the shelf

  • mood swings

    The Rockton toilet takes a practical approach to water conservation, offering two flushing options at the touch of a button—either 0.8 gallons or 1.6 gallons. The Dual Force flushing technology eliminates the need for double flushing, says the manufacturer.

  • sterling achievement

    The Rockton toilet takes a practical approach to water conservation, offering two flushing options at the touch of a button—either 0.8 gallons or 1.6 gallons. The Dual Force flushing technology eliminates the need for double flushing, says the manufacturer.

  • ikea idea

    Ramdala solid birch door and drawer fronts fit any of Ikea's birch or white melamine cabinet frames, making a snappy addition to classic or contemporary kitchens.

  • true believer

    Authentic Designs series combines fine detailing and stile-and-rail construction—without breaking the bank.

  • artful trapeze

    In conjunction with Zephyr, renowned artist and designer Fu-Tung Cheng brings his stylish range hoods to the discerning masses.

  • block party

    Cinderstone merges the edgy look of split-faced block with the endurance and economy of fiber cement.


end quote

  • home sweet dome

    Well before inventing his famous geodesic dome, Buckminster Fuller decided the world needed affordable, mass-produced housing. So, with typical disregard for convention, he designed the Dymaxion House, a circular aluminum structure suspended from a central mast.


Other Articles

  • fresh faucet

    With its F1 line, Bloomingdale, Ill.–based Grohe America boosts faucet design to new heights.

  • deco the walls

    House numbers don't come much simpler than these Avalon pieces from Glendale, Calif.–based Atlas Homewares.

  • penny wise

    The Pacific is an update of the classic freestanding soaking tub. Featuring seamless corners and brass overflow and waste assemblies, the copper unit measures 60 inches long, 26 inches wide, and 33 inches high.

  • prefab confab

    factory-built houses are the new darlings of the media and the architectural community, but can prefab really bring high design to mainstream housing? leaders in architectural practice and theory speak out.