Noted designer Philippe Starck has tried his hand at jazzing up an item that's normally associated with near-violent levels of efficiency: pre-fabricated housing.
In general, pre-fab housing is something done by Chinese construction crews seeking the optimum per-square-foot economy, or trying to build the world's tallest skyscraper in 90 days. This design, the brainchild of collaboration between Starck and Riko, aims to keep the prefab simplicity and cost advantages, but add a little soul.
By and large, they seem to have succeeded: the two-storey demonstration house, built in the Paris suburbs, has an open design with an all-glass facade flowing near-seamlessly into the front porch. But the houses are far from one-size-fits all. There's a selection of four 'family' types of structure, with the ability within that to choose your own floor plan, construction material (wood or glass, basically), and roof type. Once that's settled, you can also tweak interior settings, and the finished product is pledged to be delivered within six months.
The houses also major on eco-friendliness: those windows come triple-glazed as standard, insulation can be tweaked to suit the climate, and solar panels or wind turbines are just a click away. Look's like California's Blu might have some competition, if those prefab sections can make the hop over the Atlantic. [Designboom]