HW8: Prefab Multi-Family Housing
Size: 13,300 SF
Program: 8-unit Prefab Multi-family Housing
Workplays Studio* Architecture
Ric Abramson FAIA, Principal
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Completion Date: Entitled; unbuilt
In recent decades, creative domestic solutions in the Los Angeles basin have found ways to embrace alternative living patterns, particular the desire for open plan, loft-like interiors and innovative construction techniques like prefabrication. However, despite recent advances in the single-family modular and prefab arena, urban infill multi-family housing proposals have failed to incorporate factory-built housing techniques successfully, particularly as a means to address affordability. Stymied by long distance transportation limitations and seismic connection challenges, factory-built strategies have remained unrealized as a viable urban infill solution for affordable multi-family construction.
This unique prefab housing project blends the desire for a modernist design aesthetic with a well-established rowhouse tradition through a series of 8 factory-built townhouse units with three variations. Just under 16 feet wide each, the dwellings rely on tall interior, south facing volumes, natural cross-ventilation, and aggressive day lighting concepts to fashion modest, open-volumed domestic spaces.
Intimate private gardens at grade balance with upper level view terraces to enhance each unit’s connection to the outdoors. A carefully integrated common open space in a deepened side yard condition becomes a “pocket court” that houses extensive green space with a tree-lined perimeter and also helps fill the unit interiors with light and shade.
ENVIRONMENTALISM Factory-built units are constructed in an environmentally controlled setting, allowing for tighter framing and joint sealing, thereby lessening long-term exposure to moisture and potential mold damage. Furthermore, this type of construction allows for greater energy efficiency while reducing normal waste by over half. Remaining construction debris is easily recycled in a factory environment.
CONSTRUCTION TIME The singular greatest benefit of factory-built solutions is time. FBH cuts more than half the conventional time frames out of the process helping to lessen some neighborhood impacts associated with new construction.