Fabulous Darling, Cellophane Houses! MoMA Exhibits Modern Dwellings

July 20 - October 20, 2008 MoMA Exhibit - MoMA is doing it again, gettin' jiggy full scale. Architects have taken over the New York museum's entire vacant west lot and constructing a handful of full-scale prefabricated houses. The "Fabricating, The Modern Dwelling Exhibit," represents the contextual component of the exhibition.

Sustainability And Swelling Global Population Issues - Facing sustainability and swelling global population issues, modern architects are causing prefabrication - again - to take center stage as a prime solution to a host of pressing needs. Prefab structures have long served as a central precept in the history of modern architecture, and only continues to, spurring innovative manufacturing and imaginative design. The exhibit will examine prefab potentials, such as cellophane, pressing forward to fruition the drawing board and the finished concepts.

The Cellophane House - Why a four-story transparent house? The cellophane house, one of five prefabricated homes as a museum exhibit, can comform to any site but the impetus, according to Kieran Timberlake Architects project plan, for the four-story row home was because it is typical to Philadelphia and because the firm wanted to keep the footprint small. The height of the structure forms a stack that allows the capture and release of heat from the sun, and provides ample surface area to harness solar power via the building envelope. For this exhibition, the materials are transparent and systems are exposed for demonstration purposes. In a private home, the opacity of the envelope could be modified according to the occupant’s desire for privacy and protection.

Dynamic Idea Is Revisited - While the prefabrication concept has perhaps never been more dynamic, prefab has been an idea of interest for some time, tracing back to Frank Lloyd Wright, Jean Prouve', and Richard Rogers, corporations such as Lustron, and the imaginative systems of other influential figures, including Thomas Edison and R. Buckminster Fuller.

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