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    Modern Prefab by Marmol Radziner

    by Brian Libby

    The Rincon 5 by Los Angeles firm Marmol Radziner recalls the pristine residential architecture of Mies van der Rohe, though this guest house may have more in common with the humble American mobile home.

    The modular building exemplifies Marmol Radziner's clean-lined contemporary design as applied to pragmatic, affordable prefab housing. It is one of a growing number of dwellings that have been designed, fabricated, and built by the architect-led practice — an unusual combination in even the most progressive segments of the building industry.

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    Design, Build, Fabricate

    When Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner formed their partnership in 1989, the intention was to create a traditional architecture firm. But as they started building a portfolio of houses and other small projects, the pair was often disappointed by the performance of general contractors, so soon they began acting as their own builders.

    A turning point for Marmol Radziner + Associates came in 1996, when the firm began utilizing prefabricated steel construction. The architecture firm now uses prefab technology in about one-fifth of its work, and even has its own fabrication plant next door, where furniture and other architectural details are built, as well as a structural steel shop and a metal shop.   >>>

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    Designed and built by Marmol Radziner + Associates for principal Leo Marmol, the Desert House served as the prototype for the firm's prefabricated modular houses.
    Photo: Benny Chan Extra Large Image

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    The Desert House in Desert Hot Springs, California, combines decks, sheltered open-air space, and enclosed interior space in its L-shaped plan.
    Photo: Benny Chan Extra Large Image

     

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