Modular Construction, Reinvented


The words “Modular Housing” may conjure up images of double-wides and disaster housing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

In the hands of the San Francisco Bay area architecture firm SWATT | MIERS and Seattle-based manufacturer Method Homes, their Simpatico Series collaboration is modular residential construction reinvented as sleek, chic, and absolutely of the moment– in other words, with the highest environmental standards. With exceptionally high design standards, modular construction is no longer about being cheap, and with so much of the work completed offsite in a factory, not subject to the vagaries of weather or the whims of elusive subcontractors.

The first Simpatico iteration (above) appeared in Berkeley in 2012, a stacked 2-story composition of precision engineered volumes shipped to the site and augmented with additional onsite construction and finishing. This first 2-story Simpatico– intended for constricted urban infill sites– is comprised of six modules, and includes two bedrooms, three baths, a home office, a great room and an additional loft. It was delivered and fully assembled at the site in just one day.

What We Love: Along with exceptionally high design and a series of modules configurable to suit the needs of the client, Simpatico Series homes are designed to be true net zero energy homes, and include a rooftop photovoltaic system in the base cost.

New to the series and intended for more expansive sites, the Simpatico Courtyard house is conceived in configurable modules ranging from a 1-bed, 1-bath, 899-sq-ft starter home to the spacious 3-bed, 3-bath version with a carport shown here in renderings. Looking to the future, the homes can be augmented over time to meet the client’s needs. As for needs, the “starter” house could very likely be someone’s idea of the perfect pool or guest house.

More: Go to Method Homes for additional details about the SWATT | MIERS Architects Simpatico Series.

Photography and renderings courtesy of SWATT | MIERS Architects