Here is the third in our POV interview series. This time we check in with Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner of Marmol Radziner who discuss their prefab designs, the impact Los Angeles has had on their residential work and how nature and mid-century modern masters inspire them.
Can you tell us how you both got involved in designing pre-fab homes? We had incorporated prefabricated modular buildings into a few of our projects in the late 1990s, including four one-story modules for the Los Angeles Airport childcare center completed in 1999 and a two-story classroom module as part of The Accelerated School in South Los Angeles, which began construction in the early 2000s. So in 2003, when Dwell magazine asked our firm to participate in a prefab design competition, it seemed like a natural opportunity to continue what we had started.
The competition sparked our interest in the greater possibilities of designing high-end modern homes within the constraints of a factory. We were exploring ways to minimize the inefficiencies involved with site-built construction, including weather delays, sub-contractor delays, runaway costs and excessive material waste, and prefab seemed as if it might provide some solutions.