You may have seen Zaha Hadid's latest work: a dining pavilion that looks like an extraterrestrial open clam shell, unveiled at Art Basel Miami Beach last week. What you may not know is that the 215-square-foot structure, along with another pavilion by NYC-based firm Gluckman Tang, are the first two architectural prototypes completed for Revolution Precrafted Properties, an intriguing new venture by Filipino real estate developer and art collector Robbie Antonio.
A deep-dive over on the New York Times boils it all down to two phrases: "Tiny homes you can collect" and "Prefab goes high end" (emphasis added.) At this point, some long-time "tiny house" and "prefab home" enthusiasts might say: Wait a minute, our movement isn't about creating expensive designer collectables! And that would be totally understandable, because Revolution Precrafted Properties seems like a bit of a complicated undertaking.
Here's what you need to know.
∙ Pricey! Designer! Tiny! Prefabs!
These "bespoke, architectural collectibles," as Antonio puts it, are limited-edition houses and pavilions that will measure between 540 and 2,700 square feet (the components, to be produced in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., need to fit in a shipping container!) And the cost? Anywhere from $35,000 to over $450,000 for pavilions, and from $250,000 to over $450,000 for houses (which will include HVAC, kitchens, bathrooms, but not delivery.)
∙ Big names attached
Beyond Hadid and Gluckman Tang, Antonio has also signed up: Daniel Libeskind, Kengo Kuma, Sou Fujimoto, Tom Dixon, Lenny Kravitz, and more, for a total of 30 architects, artists, and designers.
∙ It's run by a big luxe-architecture fan
Antonio has developed "entire neighborhoods" in the Philippines, working with the likes of Paris Hilton, Donald Trump, and PhIlippe Starck. His Libeskind-designed Century Spire tower in Manila will feature Armani interiors. At the same time, he's invested in emergency shelter housing designed by Shigeru Ban. "I am obsessed with architecture and design," Antonio tells the Times.
∙ Some folks are incredulous though
One architect Antonio reached out to dropped the project because everything sounded too vague. Another called the designer prefabs "architectural jewelry," adding that "Anyone's custom kitchen done in a millwork shop is prefab; so are your windows, whether they're made of steel, wood or vinyl." He asks, "Is prefab being used as a fashionable term or is it trying to develop and advance the fundamental tenets of what prefab is supposed to be, which is affordable, mass production, not couture dwelling?" Karrie Jacobs, founding editor of Dwell and a Curbed contributor suggests that a true prefab revolution will depend on industrialists and their money (to build factories!) than architects and designers.
∙ Sight set on Asia, South America
Pushing back a bit on the idea that his offerings are only high-end collectables, Antonio tells the Times that Revolution Precrafted Properties prototypes may be employed in the master plans of large developments in Asia and South America, in addition to supporting local "corporate social responsibility" and non-profit efforts.
∙ They're on their way
According to The Spaces, Antonio expects to produce up to 50 designs in total, with many "rolling out through 2016." After an order is placed, the turnaround time would be a few months.
Do check out the full NY Times story.
∙ Tiny Homes You Can Collect [NY Times]
∙ 5 of the Coolest Prefab Houses You Can Order Right Now [Curbed]
∙ 5 Affordable Modern Prefab Houses You Can Buy Right Now [Curbed]
∙ Prefab Turquoise Dome Home Touches Down In London [Curbed]