In the picturesque East Hampton village of Amagansett, a groundbreaking architectural achievement has emerged. MB Architecture, based in the bustling heart of Manhattan, proudly presents its magnum opus—the Amagansett Modular House, a sprawling 1,800-square-foot masterpiece that not only redefines contemporary living but also reimagines the possibilities of prefabricated construction.
A Decade of Vision
The brainchild of visionary architect Maziar Behrooz, the Amagansett Modular House stands as the culmination of a decade-long odyssey marked by relentless research and prototyping. Behrooz’s trailblazing work in “cargotecture” had already garnered widespread acclaim, but this project transcends mere accolades. It stands as a testament to pushing boundaries, an endeavor fueled by boundless innovation.
An Alternative Dream
For the clients—a family of five yearning for a distinctive retreat—this unconventional gem was the answer to their quest for an alternative to the ubiquitous wood-shingled residences that peppered the Amagansett landscape. The allure of MB Architecture’s prefab marvels lay not just in their aesthetic appeal but also in their cost-efficiency and accelerated construction timelines—a compelling incentive for the discerning homeowners.
The Insta_House Legacy
The Amagansett Modular House draws inspiration from MB Architecture’s iconic insta_house—a scalable, prefab structure composed of four 40-foot-long shipping containers that can be swiftly assembled in just one day. Yet, this project unfolds as a breathtaking evolution, a tribute to the art of expansion and adaptation.
Crafting Dreams Container by Container
To fulfill the clients’ vision for a four-bedroom, three-bath sanctuary, the architects embarked on a daring journey of modification and innovation. An additional 40-foot container was seamlessly integrated on the north side, interconnected with the main double-height volume by a transparent walkway. Meanwhile, a 10-foot container defies gravity, gracefully extending from the second floor.
The Amagansett site, with its undulating terrain, played a pivotal role in shaping the design and orientation of this architectural marvel. The west-facing structure, with its external corrugated metal walls painted in a sleek black hue, harmonizes with the surrounding landscape, allowing the building to recede into its natural setting. The magic, however, lies within—a symphony of floor-to-ceiling windows and glazed doors creating seamless connections between the pristine interiors and the great outdoors.
The Art of Spacious Living
Behrooz envisioned a space that would be both inviting and playful, catering to the needs of both children and parents. The open layout and the dramatic, geometric façade breathe life into this architectural masterpiece, defying preconceived notions about the constraints of small living spaces. It’s a testament to the boundless possibilities of design.
A Structural Breakthrough
One cannot help but marvel at the engineering marvel within—the 10-foot pop-out on the second floor. This architectural innovation defies convention, boasting no visible beams beneath it, giving the illusion of suspension in thin air. Originally carved from a 20-foot container, this pop-out stands as a structural breakthrough, utilizing the inherent strength of the containers to its advantage.
The Prefabricated Symphony
The containers, born of meticulous prefabrication, were transported to the site with surgical precision. In a mere two days, the structural skeleton of the Amagansett Modular House was erected. Yet, the story didn’t end there. The subsequent weeks saw the addition of bespoke elements—a designer kitchen, bathroom adorned with exquisite tiles and fixtures, the glassed-in walkway that defies definition, and the creation of a captivating landscape crowned by a shimmering pool.
Cost-Efficiency and Regional Realities
The swiftness and efficiency of construction not only served as a marvel in itself but also proved to be a cost-saving grace. Excluding the landscape elements and the pool, the overall expenditure stood firmly in the realm of the “low to mid $300s per square foot,” as shared by Behrooz. In regions like upstate New York, this might be a lofty figure, but for the East End of Long Island, where construction can soar to a staggering $500 to $800 per square foot, this achievement is nothing short of revolutionary. After all, cost of construction is intrinsically tied to regional disparities.
A Meeting of Minds, Rarely in Person
Perhaps the most intriguing facet of this project was the seldom face-to-face interaction between the architects and their discerning clients. This busy couple, blessed with three young children, chose an unconventional path, opting to rendezvous with their architectural dream team only on a handful of occasions. A remarkable deviation from the norm for MB Architecture, which thrives on recurrent client meetings.
The Joyous Unveiling
As the Amagansett Modular House neared its completion, a moment of truth awaited—a grand reveal to the clients and their eager children. It was a day tinged with anticipation, wondering how the family would react when they stepped foot into their new abode for the very first time. Their response was nothing short of heartwarming. A jubilant email arrived later in the day, penned by the clients themselves—a testament to their newfound sanctuary: “The house feels like a temple.”
In the heart of Amagansett, the Amagansett Modular House stands not only as a triumph of architectural prowess but also as a testament to the boundless possibilities of design, construction, and human imagination. It’s a beacon of inspiration in the realm of contemporary living—a harmonious blend of form, function, and innovation that invites us all to dream bigger and reach higher in our pursuit of architectural excellence.
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