The Cool House: prefab
Showing posts with label prefab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prefab. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Prefabulous houses at MoMA

Monday morning's disappointment with The Waterfalls and the delicious make-up-for-it lunch and a couple of espressos behind us we headed uptown for more culture at the MoMA - Home Delivery: Fabricating The Modern Dwelling. This exhibition of prefabrication in architecture from the early 19th century to the present isn't comprehensive - Sears-Roebeck homes get a mention but Macy's Leisurama Homes don't - but it is fascinating nonetheless. I especially loved the 1930's copper houses constructed in Berlin and Haifa, that I previously knew nothing about.
I checked in the all-metal 1949 Lustron House that was reassembled inside the museum for this exhibition but the drawers were clear of used tissues. There was a couple seated at the dining table, she was applying lipstick, checking her blackberry while they chatted about friends and how they could "totally live there right in the middle of a museum". They were completely comfortable, enjoying the Prefab space. It was kind of cute in a life-as-art way.
Outside on a vacant lot adjacent to the MoMA were five prototype prefabs, the installation of which you can watch on video.

I loved the construction of the Digitally Fabricated Housing for New Orleans: no nails, no glue, you need only a rubber mallet to put together the numbered parts.

Open tread staircase in the photovoltaic rich Cellophane House, adds to the open and airy feeling. The house is full of light and feels surprisingly spacious and cool even on a sweltering New York Summer day

The retro feel but conceptually ultra-modern Burst*008, is bathed in a creamy yellow glow. This prefab isn't a box but rather geometrical folds mean each house will be unique. Sunshine bursts everywhere, including this nifty skylight above the double bed, yet the house remains cool.
This was installation design done really well and a fun afternoon at MoMA. They have had some really interesting, informative and thought-provoking exhibitions over the past year, and that's what a culture-fix should provide.