Australia seems to be the home of modular, prefab architecture products at the moment. Witness the excellent inhabitat blog pointing at the eHabitat project, as well as Modabode and the Deck House. eHabitat is hugely compelling: adaptive, sustainable, elegant, situated, and relatively affordable. Pick your keyword of choice.
The practically limitless space for expansion afforded by Australia's geography is no doubt something to do with this innovation, just as the US and Scandinavia (cf. Løvetann) are home to other interesting projects. In compact Old Europe, there's not as much room for this kind of innovation, literally. (Save parts of Russia, in which the intemperate climate might intervene anyway.) So while part of me will now be tracking down the possibilities of such modular prefab housing in the 'New World', another part of me asks about modular prefab housing designed for urban environments?
We generally see these schemes set in 'natural locations', and the designs seem at home there, aesthetically and functionally. But are there good examples of modular prefabs designed to integrate into tight urban environments? A couple of Japanese projects vaguely spring to mind, the excellent Deutschlandscape exhibition at the V&A has some examples, and there are some dodgy capsule concepts, but not much else.
While some of the schemes mentioned above could probably fit into cities and towns, with minimal reversioning, it strikes me that some of the tensions implicit in integrating with a compact urban environment are quite different. In terms of building something as sustainable, sophisticated and adaptive, the urban environment may be rather demanding. Any thoughts or examples?