Compact, cheap but completely cool modular design is well-represented in the pre-fabricated 'kubu' house by Germany's THULE Blockhaus.
Modular architecture is totally a la mode these days, with prefabricated house designs popping up as popular options elsewhere in the homify network for those looking for affordable architectural solutions and contemporary cargotecture (shipping container architecture—a novel form of eco-friendly prefabricated architecture) that boasts great good looks on display in innovative modern homes like the Pocket House.
This German-designed prefabricated house is assembled from modular elements that are constructed offsite to template designed, and assembled onsite in an extraordinarily short period of time. The all adds up to an incredibly cost-effective property that doesn't sacrifice cool contemporary good looks. Plus how cool is it to be able to order a house and step inside it just a few weeks later?
Simply called kubu, German architectural firm Thule Blockhaus has indeed scored a coup with their prefabricated, modular masterpiece. Clocking in at a modest 40 square meters, kubu is compact certainly, but once finished it's nothing less than chic and contains all the space a solo dweller, couple, or even small family could possibly need.
Not entirely necessary given that prefabricated houses are notorious for being able to be put together (rather than constructed) over days and weeks rather than months and years, the home building professionals working at this kubu examples site have put in some late hours. We can see from this quite lovely photo how simple the frame structure of the house really is—with a team of four at work, the house can be built in one to two weeks.
With just the roof and interior to be finished, kubu is almost complete, with the large glazed facade in place, the walls raised and joined. We can also see that kubu, with form true to name, is a two floor affair, with the upstairs interior consisting of a mezzanine mini-loft ideal for a bedroom and with its own external access via the door way seen in this picture—stairs not yet included.
From this spot in the shade behind kubu we can see both its this example of the design's beautiful German lakeside setting (this is, of course, just an example—being prefabricated, one kubu is the same as any other), and it's foundation, one of the few things that has to be really carefully calibrated to the piece of land on which kubu is going to be placed. Here a wraparound terrace in weatherproof timbers is set floating above a concrete foundation that's been sire-specifically engineered.
The entire front facade of kubu is glazed with UV-protective and thermally efficient glass, offering incredible views whether you're on the ground floor or tucked back and up on the mezzanine to the rear of the home. The lower half of the facade opens out to grant access to the front veranda. It's a striking, large-scale modern window feature that breaks up the regularity of the laminated wooden weatherboarding, only rarely punctuated by a window or entranceway, that comprises the other three walls of the home.
Despite its small scale, kubu is putting many myths about prefabricated construction to sleep. Just look at this interior—one kubu might be like any other in terms of structure, but kubu offers an humane and effortless canvas on which you the homeowner can place your personal touch. The key to modular design and an architectural concept that reproduces the same design to a number of different individuals is simplicity. Kubu brings this all in at an incredibly low cost.