In the past year we have begun working with Connor Homes in Middlebury, Vermont, to have houses fabricated and delivered flat by truck to the client's home site. Russell sees great potential in prefab and modular technologies to make good traditional design more affordable. He has written about the topic in two Architect's Principles columns in New Old House magazine, House in a Box in the Winter 2007 issue and Pennywise in Winter 2008.
We have two fabricated houses being built in Virginia at present, one at the Homestead Preserve in Warm Springs and one at Bundoran Farm near Charlottesville; both are designs from Russell's Simple Farmhouse Portfolio. A third is a custom design for a client that we expect to be delivered this week. We are especially excited about this one, since we'll be able to see the process at every stage from delivery to finished home.
The design is for a caretaker's cottage to be built on a Middleburg horse farm, and it's styled after the English tidewater cottages of colonial Maryland and Virginia. Tidewater cottages were timberframed and weatherboarded, with low brick foundations, double chimneys, and front porches. The front porch was new to the English colonies in the mid-18th-century, and it expanded the living area and served a social function as a place to chat with passers-by and greet visitors.
The design for the house in Middleburg is an amalgam of Russell's design and designs done by Rob Hale for the Simple Farmhouse Portfolio Tidewater Collection. Rob is the project architect on this house.
We'll photograph the house in its various stages and post photos here. Watch this space...