Post details: Breaking Out of the Box

02/18/05

Permalink 10:59:43 am, Categories: Articles, 287 words   English (US)

Breaking Out of the Box


From the magazie, Home Planning Ideas
Once considered an unloved offspring of the building industry, modular housing is now showing its strengths with the help of design professionals.

TrucksHalf a Dozen Trucks

It's hard to imagine Doug Cutler's home traveling down the road on the back of a truck. Make that six trucks, one for each of the home's six "boxes," as Doug, an architect in Wilton, Connecticut, refers to them.

Built in a nearby factory, the mostly finished boxes were transported to the 2-acre site, where they were assembled on a foundation to create a 2,816-square-foot house loaded with contemporary style and intriguing angles. Nothing about the house brings to mind its far less distinguished relatives: manufactured houses, or -- as they're commonly but less accurately known -- mobile homes.

TrucksDoug's free-flowing, dramatic house shatters the misconception of modular home design. Fins, as Doug calls them, on the front exterior heighten the house's contemporary design. Built after the modules were in place, these slender, decorative partitions also help support and screen decks that seem to float off the house. Adding the siding and fins after the modules were in place offered more freedom to create architectural character, Doug says.

Wetlands and a 5-foot-high embankment traversing the lot complicated construction of the home. "Everyone passed on the lot because of the cliff and the wetlands," Doug's wife, Lauren, recalls.

Doug saw the cliff differently: "I tried to use it as a feature element in the design by not viewing it as a handicap, but as something to be celebrated." Ivy, pachysandra, and other groundcovers now spill down the embankment. "This house fits like a glove into this property," Lauren says

Better Homes and Gardens

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