Mod 2 is made up of six prefabricated modules that create a 1,200 square-foot two-bedroom, one-bath single-family house. The modules were built in a Lawrence, Kansas warehouse and transported by truck to the site where they were placed on the concrete foundation. The organization funding the project insisted on a garage. The street facing gaping mouth of a garage did not fit the avowed mission of Studio 804 so the sloping site was used to hide the garage door. The house sits on top of a walk out basement. The top of the basement is nearly at grade level at the front of the house but by the back it is fully exposed. A driveway ramps down from the street behind a retaining wall that creates a level side yard. It then U-turns toward the back of the house where a garage door has been installed in the exposed basement wall hiding under the deck above.
To enter the house from the street an ipe floored elevated walkway parallels the house to the entry. It then wraps around the back of the house to a deck that looks over the surprisingly isolated back yard and woods behind. The deck railings are custom welded with as innocuous a steel frame as possible that holds clear, tempered glass panels. The living room opens to this deck so the public living areas are at the back of the house while the bedrooms and support spaces are toward the front. The living room, kitchen and entry are housed in three modules of open space. A hallway extends from the entry to the private spaces. It is flanked on one side by a module wide bathroom and a module wide bedroom, on the other side are built in storage cabinets with custom built doors. At the end of the hallway is a full module size master bedroom at the front of the house.
The default design setting for Studio 804 is to open houses to the south for passive solar heat gain but in this instance the lay of the site and the prominent views to the woods made this less attractive. Instead the design focuses on other sustainable strategies such as cross ventilation, daylighting and the use of salvaged materials. The public bays take advantage of the soft north light to daylight the living room and kitchen through a fully glazed corner fabricated with 250 square feet of horizontally run structural channel glass. A translucent, thermally broken structural glazing designed by Bendheim Glass for Steven Holl’s Bloch addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.
The University of Kansas Department of Architecture invites applications for Studio 804, a comprehensive one-year, fully hands-on design-build experience for students who are at an advanced stage in their studies and committed to the continued research and development of affordable, sustainable and inventive building solutions. Students enrolled in Studio 804 work full time to design and build a new building every year. The widely-published program, under the direction of Distinguished Professor Dan Rockhill, has produced ten LEED Platinum buildings, three of which are Passive House-certified. To learn more, visit studio804.com and architecture. ku.edu/studio804. The university accepts transfers, 4+2 grads, B.Arch grads, M.Arch grads, or professionals — anyone who wants to be a better architect by having had the experience of designing and constructing a sophisticated building in its entirety from the ground up.