Our Pick Of Compact Prefab House Projects in Europe (+ 1 Aussie)

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Prefabricated building technology has come a long way since the low quality, mass produced, repetitive designs of bygone eras. Today, prefab is all about quality, predictable costs and the experimentation of new materials and construction methods.

In parts of Europe, prefabricated construction accounts for up to 80% of all new housing built and we often look to the continent for design inspiration, especially their compact prefab house designs.

Here are four impressive compact prefab house concepts from across Europe that inspire us (plus one Aussie prefabricated house design we absolutely love): 

Things we love: Upcycled furniture

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Demolishing old buildings produces huge amounts of waste. In fact, in Australia the construction industry generates around 40% of the country’s waste. We think it is high time someone got creative with the rubble after the wrecking ball hits, so we were delighted to stumble across StoneCycling.

Since 2013, Amsterdam-based start-up StoneCycling has been developing ways to transform architectural waste salvaged from demolished structures. The company’s new arm of business collaboration with a local design studio, Ultra Studio, and introduced the creation of upcycled furniture pieces. 

Modular construction brought to life through a creative lens

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The detailed modular construction process can be a difficult one to grasp, yet the many advantages are worth understanding for anyone looking to design and build a new home.

To aid this understanding we recently engaged Melbourne cinematographer, Nathan Kaso, to produce a short tilt-shift time-lapse film on the process.

But rather than just spelling out our process, Nathan sought to capture the distinctiveness of a modular project through a unique combination of filming techniques and styles. 

Things we love: being a part of the Open House Melbourne weekend

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Some things just get better with age – and the Open House Melbourne weekend is certainly one of them.

It’s an event that welcomes everyone – from those who work in the design industry to those who just love design – and encourages conversations about architecture and how our built environment shapes who we are and how we live.

Celebrating its 10th year, the Open House Melbourne weekend was bigger than ever before. Last weekend over 200 buildings threw open their doors and welcomed locals and visitors alike. It was a great opportunity for many to get up close and personal with the spaces that make this city unique. 

Things We Love: Lumil Light

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Our Brooklyn display suite showcases the innovation, quality and high level of finish we produce in all of our modular homes. No display suite would be complete without a contemporary mix of furnishing and accessories, so we’re constantly on the look out for seriously cool stuff that embodies our design style.  And whenever we come across a beautifully sleek product like this, we sit up and take notice – which is what we did when we stumbled on Lumil.

Launched earlier this year, Lumil is a Melbourne-based design studio and lighting brand fronted by Luke Mills. Characterised by a focus on function, Lumil works with like-minded creators to explore manufacturing techniques and contemporary design. The result is beautiful objects that inspire and complement the spaces they inhabit. 

Wearable Technology – World’s First Colour-Changing Graphene Dress

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In recent years, the fashion industry has been experimenting with wearable technology (see Solar panels go Couture), blurring the boundaries between textiles and tech. The little black dress is one such garment that has received a hi-tech revamp, being christened the world’s first graphene dress.

So what is graphene and what makes this dress so amazing?

Graphene is a super-thin “wonder material” scientists think could revolutionise every aspect of human life. It is just one atom thick and a million times thinner than human hair, it is 200 times stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than anything else known to man. 

Things We Love: Cabins Book

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The idea of a cabin retreat located in a secluded landscape is a dream of many. As our cities continue to swell and we repeatedly cram our lives full of activity there is an ever-increasing desire to escape it all and run away to an isolated refuge.

Architects worldwide have dabbled and experimented in the many possibilities and design outcomes involving the minimal shelter – a number of which have been presented in this wonderful Cabins book

Cloud House Makes It Rain On Demand

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There’s nothing more relaxing than listening to the rain fall on a tin roof when you’re all warm and cosy inside. Now you can listen to the soothing sound anytime you please thanks to Matthew Mazzotta’s latest project, Cloud House.

The house is built under a permanent cloud and rocking in the chair situated inside activates ‘rain’. The rain then falls onto the metal roof above, producing that warm and pleasant sound. Stay seated and you can relax watching the water drip down from the window lintel, watering edible plants sitting on the sills. 

How Green is Your City?

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A greener city is more enjoyable for us and more beneficial for the environment. Through the evolution of intersectional technologies we now have a greater understanding of how we interact with the built and natural environment. A recent innovation from MIT’s Senseable City Lab, is one such innovation – it measures the density of greenery in cities across the globe but at a human eye-level.

Named Treepedia, the program assesses street-level urban greenery using Google Street View and the Green View Index. It measures the obstruction of greenery in Google’s street-level visualisation maps and classifies the images accordingly.