Taliesin Mod.Fab

Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture
Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ

Ninety-eight years ago Frank Lloyd Wright launched a pioneering scheme to build prefabricated homes with pre-cut framing, cabinets and other factory-made parts. Based on building practices he’d seen in Japan, Wright called it the American System of Housing. World War I intruded, and he built only a handful.

The Taliesin Mod.Fab is an example of simple, elegant, and sustainable living in the desert. The one-bedroom, 960-square-foot prototype residence relies on SIP panelized construction to allow for speed and economy on site or in a factory. It was designed for use on or off the grid. Unplugged it relies on rainwater collection, reusable greywater, solar orientation, natural ventilation and photovoltaics. Solar panels are placed on a garden wall, which allows builders to use it as a power source during construction. The structure is dimensioned and engineered to be transportable via roadway.

The project is a result of a design/build studio class co-taught by Jennifer Siegal. A prototype was built almost entirely by students on the rolling desert campus. It is now used as a guesthouse with furnishings loaned by Design Within Reach