May 23, 2023

Loblolly and Cellophane House™ Featured in WIRED

Loblolly House being assembled in Maryland.
© Peter Aaron/OTTO

KieranTimberlake's innovative work with prefabrication was recently highlighted in a WIRED Magazine article on sustainable building practices.  
As the global construction industry creates about one-third of the world's waste, the article emphasizes a necessary shift towards circular building, or "the practice of making buildings that can be more easily disassembled, moved, or repurposed." 
In a list of recent examples, they note "KieranTimberlake's innovative prefab, sustainable homes Loblolly House and Cellophane House™." 
Completed in 2006, Loblolly House used integrated assemblies of parts, fabricated off-site, to build a house in an entirely different way. The conception and detailing were formed about four new elements of architecture: scaffold, cartridge, block, and equipment. The connections between elements were designed to be made using only simple hand tools.

Cellophane House™ installed near the Museum of Modern Art.
© Peter Aaron/OTTO

In 2008, Cellophane House™ was one of five projects selected for construction adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art. Much like Loblolly, it was assembled like a car: the whole construction was broken down into integrated assemblies, called “chunks,” that were fabricated off site, then delivered via trailers to the site and stacked on top of each other with a crane. Eighty percent of the construction was completed in six days.  
KieranTimberlake has been researching and contributing to sustainable, circular building practices for over 20 years.  
Published in 2004 by Partners Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, Refabricating Architecture argues for the necessity to re-evaluate and update the basic design and construction methods that have constrained the building industry throughout its history.  
"We remain committed to advancing the circular economy conversation within the construction and design professions, and with our clients, as we work toward improving a brighter future for architecture," said Partner James Timberlake. 
This June, Timberlake will revisit Refabricating Architecture in a panel discussion at the national AIA Conference. He will be joined by industry leaders in off-site construction to explore what has changed since the book's publication and the future promises of refabricating architecture.