“Southern California is home to more companies that are actually building modernist prefab housing than anywhere else in the country.”

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — For decades, prefab homes were supposed to be the next big thing – never mind that they were found primarily on the pages of design magazines or in architects’ sketchbooks. What a difference a year makes. “Modernist Prefab” is no longer a concept but is now a reality. “In the past year, the modernist prefab manufacturers have had the necessary break-through to deliver product, and CA Boom’s Prefab Zone participants confirm this,” says Charles M. Trotter, founder and executive producer of the CA Boom Design Show.

“Instead of just talking about prefab, our prefab manufacturers have successfully delivered product and put a dozen houses in the ground,” says Trotter.

prefab weeHousePhoto (at left): This prefab ‘weeHouse’ in Marfa, Tex., was designed by CA Boom 4 Prefab Zone participants Alchemy Architects of St. Paul, Minn. Photo credit: Courtesy Alchemy Architects.

A majority of the leading modernist prefab manufacturers will be exhibiting at the 2nd annual Prefab Zone, a key attraction of the annual CA Boom Design Show. CA Boom’s Prefab Zone is unique in that it connects would-be buyers of prefab with prefab manufacturers that can actually deliver. CA Boom’s Prefab Zone is vetted. Accepted participants must have built at least one prefab home, demonstrate that their manufacturing and delivery processes are in place, and be able to confirm a price and delivery date.

Returning CA Boom 3 prefab exhibitors are Marmol Radziner Prefab, livinghomes, Hive Modular, Clever Homes, kitHAUS, V2 World and Sander Architects. Joining this year are ALCHEMY architects (creators of the “weeHouse”) and H-Haus, designed by Santa Fe architect Aaron Bohrer, AIA and engineer Arunas Repecka. .

CA Boom’s popularity among design-savvy, early-adopters as well as design trade makes it the ideal venue to educate the end-user on the benefits of prefab building techniques. Toby Long, AIA, principal of Clever Homes says, “From the beginning, the CA Boom Design Show has been an ideal forum for our company to convey our approach to design and construction to a creative and inspired audience.” Clever Homes has already built five homes and is scheduled to break ground on 20 more during 2007.

“We’ve seen that consumers are much more educated on prefab now than they were a year ago, and I think events like CA Boom are largely to thank,” says Ron Radziner, AIA, design principal, Marmol Radziner Prefab. “Before, people were asking what prefab even was, and now inquiries are much more specific about making potential projects into real built homes.” Today, Marmol Radziner Prefab has nearly 20 homes under contract, with two in the ground. Six months ago they started production in their own 65,000 square foot factory near Downtown L.A.

Steve Glenn, founder and CEO of livinghomes, notes that, “Southern California is home to more companies that are actually building modernist prefab housing than anywhere else in the country. For that reason, CA Boom is an important show for prefab companies to do.” The first livinghome, designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA, was completed last year in Santa Monica, and will be featured on CA Boom Design + Architecture Tour on Saturday, March 31. In addition, livinghomes’ newest design by acclaimed architect David Hertz, AIA will be making its tradeshow debut at CA Boom 4.

At CA Boom 3, Hive Modular was the first to sell a home at the show. A year later, CA Boom’s Prefab Zone is still the only place in the world that gathers the lion’s share of actual manufacturers who can deliver in one place at the same time, affording the would-be buyer the unique opportunity to comparison shop among the different manufacturers.

Says Trotter, “We expect to see more sales this year as the buyers are better informed, further along with their pre-planning, and many have put into place the necessary elements such as securing the land.”

About CA Boom
CA Boom: The West Coast Independent Design Show is North America’s only multi-discipline design trade fair and exhibition featuring the best of contemporary architecture and independent design.

CA Boom 4 happens Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1, 2007, at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Admission is $20; Design + Architecture tour tickets (includes same-day or return visit to the exhibit) are $75 or $200 for a three-day tour pass. For more information, please visit

[tags]prefab weeHouse, CA Boom Design Show, West Coast Independent Design Show, California architects, Santa Monica news[/tags]