Oh, the places prefab will go. In this new project in California wine country, a customized version of the weeHouse, an affordable modern prefab model from Saint Paul, Minnesota-based design firm Alchemy, has been assembled on the hills of Santa Rosa, where it commands sweeping views of the valley landscape.
Designed in collaboration with the client—Apple’s Director of Store Design, according to the project brief—the 970-square-foot retreat comprises two minimalist steel-frame structures set on concrete plinths and covered with custom corrugated Cor-Ten and sliding glass walls.
In the 640-square-foot main module, there’s a central oak bed box, with an open living/dining/kitchen area on one side and a compact toilet and shower setup on the other. A separate, cantilevered bolt-on porch connects the main residence to a similarly arranged guesthouse.
According to Alchemy founder and project architect Geoffrey Warner, the Sonoma weeHouse is a prime example of prefab efficiency. He points out that the home was designed in Minnesota, manufactured in Oregon, and then “shipped to its California site 90 percent complete.” Some accessories like stairs and porch railings were even prefabricated in Minnesota and shipped directly to site for the finishing touches.