Yellow House takes modular housing to the treetops
Located in the beautiful forest setting of Pucón, Chile, Yellow House from architect Alejandro Soffia is a treehouse-inspired prefab home that proposes a comfortable and economic housing model for the future, with minimal impact on nature.
Built from a series of prefabricated modules, Yellow House, was conceived to address the rapid demand for housing within growing populations, while also keeping sustainability and cost in mind.
"Architecture faces two main human challenges," says Alejandro Soffia. "First, decreasing its impact over nature's equilibrium, and second, building many square meters of good quality for actual and coming population. I am right now as an Architect, in this second challenge, trying to develop prefab systems with good (true/beauty) design."
The Yellow House prefabricated modules were constructed offsite using lightweight Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). The ready-to-use modules make up the key aspects of the entire home, including the living room, kitchen, library, bedrooms and bathrooms. The modules were assembled together onsite, taking care to work around the pre-existing forest landscape, while also incorporating the beautiful surrounds into the visual aspect of the home.
"I selected prefabrication as a strategy for building my projects, but also during the design process too," says Soffia. "The hypothesis is, that if you create a prefabricated system which has good architectural design, then you can reproduce this quality as much as you need it, within the laws of short/long production series. And if in the serial industrial production of buildings you get bored, you can also customize form and function through the system."
The building's bright yellow facade is contrasted by a black border and black flat roof. The inside features beautiful dark timber flooring and a mixture of black and untreated natural timber cladding on the walls and ceilings. Large floor-to-ceiling glass windows are positioned throughout the entire home, offering stunning views of the surrounding forest landscape, while also filling the home with an abundance of natural light.
The home is elevated off the ground with a series of wooden stumps and pillars, giving it a treehouse feel while also conserving the land below. The main entrance is accessible via a wooden staircase, which meanders through the forest. The staircase also adjoins a large outdoor terrace, ideal for entertaining or enjoying an afternoon in the sun.
The home also includes an impressive open living and dining area with modern European wall kitchen, a wood combustion fireplace, hydronic heating, and a collection of perched private balconies.
Final cost for the Yellow House project was UF29 per square meter (US$1150 at time of publication), and its prefabricated model can be adapted to suit various needs.