Architects Gordon Stott and Jared Levy are helping people experience a better way of building. The two met while working at a large architecture firm, where they witnessed industry-wide problems continually holding back the potential of prefab. They left to start their own firm, and two years later they’d designed and patented a new solution.
Inspired by the shipping container network, Gordon and Jared created a system of prefab housing modules that can ship safely, resulting in the ability to deliver a complete home to any site, anywhere in the world. Once the modules are on site, they’re connected – hence the company’s name, Connect Homes – to create a beautiful, modern, green home.
“When we can deliver an attractive, comfortable home to people who wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford to hire an architect to create their dream home, it feels really rewarding,” says Gordon.
To date, the Los Angeles-based company has built 50 homes. Most are located on the West Coast, but with the shipping costs for this modular system being 90% less than standard prefab, the rest of the country is also tapping into Connect Homes. Their first project for a cold climate was built in Connecticut in 2017.
“It’s an all-black house set against white Cliffside rocks and is somewhat reminiscent of the paintings by its owner, who is an artist,” says Gordon. “It’s wearing a heavy winter coat under its siding and is tuned for the harsher environment, but other than that it’s just like a house we installed in Santa Monica.”
The price for a Connect Home is based on the size of the model, but the average is $285 per square foot for the house and everything in it, delivered and installed locally. The price is only a bit higher for more distant regions.
Gordon and Jared enjoy seeing their homes in beautiful settings, but they’re perhaps even more excited by the fact that Connect Homes can be tuned to work anywhere. “One of my favorite sites is on a small mountain above Ojai overlooking the ocean with sweeping panoramic views,” says Gordon. “Getting to put a sleek glass and steel prefab on a site like that feels rewarding as an architect. But then the product designer in me gets excited about the 10 other instances of this model that we’ve put in places like Sonoma, Napa, other sites in Ojai, and even a Native American Reservation near Temecula.”
In early 2020, Connect Homes built its first showcase home, which was created in collaboration with design and sustainability partners to showcase the future of homebuilding. The Los Angeles property includes Swell Energy solar solutions, Lutron smart switching, and Grey for Green greywater systems. The conceptual design of the home is by Juan Peck Foon, and the furniture is from Design Within Reach.