Environa studio

“Building a freestanding prefab home is, in a sense, building a green SUV: You’re greening up the wrong thing.” Sydney based architects Tone Wheller and Jan O’Connor of Environa Studio.

An article in this month’s Dwell, discussing the vocabulary of modern design, inspired by prefab assembly and by the legendarily balmy Australian climate.

We try to allow a certain amount of flexibility in our projects. You’re not using the same room in the same way 365 days of the year. The house is flexible enough that you can use one room in the evening and one in the morning—or you can adjust the spaces so that they’re used at different times of day and even different times of year. It goes down to the modernist tradition of furniture that’s light and easy to move. Sustainability needs to go beyond just materials and energy use; we need to start thinking about density, size, flexibility—fitting more things into smaller spaces. Everything would be small and compact—but everything would fold out at full size.

I’m really getting into modular use spaces, I first came across it at the Royal College of Art CRD studio, which would often change appearance based on the intended function or the evening’s activity. Doors on rails, screens (fabric and metal) swing into place and provide immediate privacy and flexibility to this adaptive studio space.

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