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Mountain View Mobile Home Park | Santa Monica, CA | Touraine Richmond Architects

Project Role: Design studies, site analysis, renderings
Project Team: Olivier Touraine, Deborah Richmond, Ryan Whitacre, Saji Matuk

From the very beginning of the design process, we have established a relationship with Skyline Manufactured Housing and their regional factory in San Jacinto, CA. Skyline is a builder of Manufactured (HUD) and Factory-Built (modular) homes with 58 years of experience and a commitment to the environment, with both the homes they produce and the factories they operate achieving Energy Star certification. This collaboration allows our team to balance outstanding architectural design with the realities of fabricating and shipping prefabricated housing units and keeping costs in line with expectations.

The concept of the prefabricated house, especially on the west side of Los Angeles, has become synonymous with luxury, excess, and exorbitant construction costs. This is in direct opposition to the promise of prefabrication to provide affordable, expedient housing based upon repetition and a compact scale of living, as seen in the work of Walter Gropius and Konrad Wachsmann for General Panel Corporation for the housing boom experienced after World War II. These two pillars of prefabrication mesh well with a move toward a more sustainable housing model by consuming fewer materials and producing more energy efficient homes, and we believe that the scale and ambition of this project are favorable for promoting these virtues. Though the units will undeniably be prefabricated, the more important parameters in the equation are the small scale and sustainability of the units. We also believe that this community can become a model for shared renewable energy systems with photovoltaic panels and geothermal wells becoming shared resources amongst clusters of homes.

We intend to follow these guidelines:
• Wood framed wall system with little to no steel structure with an optimized envelope to floor area ratio
• Intelligent glazing placement to increase light entry and energy efficiency while keeping costs low
• Compact footprint for greater energy efficiency and denser development
• Repetition is key – very few options on selected finishes, use of add-ons, and a common kitchen/bathroom configuration
• Use of smooth finish of construction materials where possible; selection of finishes for standardization, durability, ease of installation, reduction in prep labor, shipping stresses, and sustainability

Text credit: Olivier Touraine, Dplg.

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