Building prefabricated architecture was first explored with vigor after World War II, when architects found themselves in the unique position of needing to create lots of housing quickly for returning veterans and their families. Prefabricated architecture is constructed off-site, often in modules that are shipped to their destination and then assembled. Not only does the process save time, it reduces the number of human errors that occur on the job site and the amount of material needed and wasted, cutting both construction and environmental costs.
For these reasons, architects across the world have been exploring its potential in projects of all typologies. Prefabricated architecture has been touted as a potential solution to the global affordable housing crisis, a playbook to create fast and inexpensive temporary emergency shelters, and a path to reducing the building industry’s harmful climate effects. However, despite modular architecture’s premade parts, a design doesn’t have to be made en masse, nor does it exclude beauty, detail, and innovation. These 11 examples prove that prefabricated architecture, historic or contemporary, can be even more eye-catching than traditional construction.