Marmol Radziner Prefab began installing a custom house in the Hollywood Hills this week, pressing ahead in the face of a whole lot of prefab-uncertainty. Since this house was manufactured, the company announced it's shutting down production of prefab homes at its Vernon factory. Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne weighed in on prefab's problems in the LA Times a few weeks ago, diagnosing low-volume production as the major problem, and quoting another prefab leader Michelle Kaufmann (who shuttered her business), as saying high-density projects may be the future of the industry. Marmol Radziner Prefab COO Todd Jerry tells us he agrees with Hawthorne that volume is the problem, saying, "The industry isn't developed or mature enough...until you can get volume in lower prices, you aren't able to meet the dreams of the marketplace."
This latest house is called Hollywood Hybrid and it's made up of four interior modules and three deck modules, totaling 3,481 square feet. The price is $720,000, or about $207/sf, which sounds very reasonable--except it doesn't include the land, design, permits, foundation, or any other site costs. Besides being manufactured off-site, the house has green features like insulated windows, recycled denim insulation, radiant heating, and solar panels. Unlike Kaufmann, Marmol Radziner Prefab might not be talking about multi-unit housing, but they are trying to build more efficient, sustainable housing. (And who knows how it'll fare, but they recently announced a Dwell partnership line.) This new prefab is high on a hill near Runyon Canyon.
· Prefab 3.0 [Curbed LA]
· Marmol Radziner Prefab Looks Beyond Vernon [Curbed LA]
· Prefab movement needs to rethink its model [LA Times]
· Marmol Radziner and Dwell Debut New Skyline Series of Prefabs [Inhabitat]
· Hollywood Hybrid Home Installed Tomorrow (Tues) [Marmol Radziner Prefab]