Monday, September 19, 2011


It never fails to amuse me that Architects, who were once regarded for their high fees and innovation, are now trying anything they can to drive business into their firms including designing and building some of the most unusual looking homes ever to be built as modular.

Lake-Flato Architects in San Antonio, Texas is the latest to build what can only be called one of the dumbest designs yet.

Years ago, when I was a mere boy of 10, my older brother and I built a shed from corrugated sheet metal and used it as a fort.  Little did we know that we should have gone into home designing as a profession.  We were ahead of our time by over 50 years.

The Lake|Flato Architects "Porch House" in Vanderpool, Texas, at dusk.

If any reader really likes this house, please look into buying that other goofy looking house that is being stuffed down people's throats, the Clayton i-house.

The modules are being manufactured in Navasota, 70 miles northwest of Houston, by GroundFORCE Building Systems, and everything — cabinetry, flooring, windows, electrical and plumbing — is installed in the factory.  Modules are 17 feet wide, so they can fit onto a truck.

Living rooms and bedrooms come in varying lengths that can be stacked on top of one another or placed together in varying configurations. Local builders who work with the firm will place the homes on their foundations, construct the porches and add exterior finishes.


Anonymous said...

And it never fails to amuse ME that bloggers still use all-caps, thinking that somehow it makes type more attractive to read.

Coach said...

I've been writing this blog over 4 years and you're the first to mention the "all caps." The article is about an Architect designing a steel corrugated shed and you only see the way I write my headline.

I think you need to take another look at that house.

William said...

So much for taste - huh Coach? And I might ad - a college education and a wasted architectural degree!!!!
Wow, I have seen more tasteful designs on paper napkins during lunch conversations with in-house drafting department.
But I think the worst part is these folks thinking they have come up with a startling new design that will take the industry by storm.

Tim Watson said...


Actually I think it's a great example of Hill Country Vernacular architecture. And we have successfully translated that plan to a Low Country feel for South Carolina. I think it's ironic that your sound the doom alarm for those without a marketing plan, while simultaneously ridiculing a great plan that you don't happen to like. Lake Flato is a renowned firm that has been quietly working in modular for a while, and like sixth graders we in the industry stick our heads up and say "that's different, you're stupid". The LF plans can be build for < $100/ ft or you can trick them out for a lot more. These guys have done their home work.

Long time listener, first time caller.

Tim Watson

Coach said...

Tim, I agree with 95% of what you wrote. The 5% I don't is this absolutely awful design that looks like a migrant house. If this is an example of what a good Architectural firm looks to deliver in a modular home, maybe our industry has more problems than we thought.

Even the manufactured side of our industry would be hesitant to deliver something like this house and we both know they tried with the i-house.