Pre-Fab Houses on the Rise Pre-fab houses are now chic. They promise great design, and they can be quick to build. Prefabricated houses with lots of style are a new, popular movement in architecture.

Pre-Fab Houses on the Rise

Pre-Fab Houses on the Rise

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

High design, in an easy-to-put together package. That describes a new popular movement in architecture: pre-fab houses.

Witold Rybczynski, of the online magazine Slate, built his first pre-fab house many years ago. It was a summer cottage for his parents. He says the house is now 35 years old and has stood up very well.

Rybczynski says architects have always liked pre-fabricated houses. He says they cost about the same as an architect-designed house, so they are not inexpensive. Rybczynski says that ordinary, builder-style houses in subdivisions are mostly prefabricated because the kitchen cabinets, the windows and other components come from a factory.

Rybczynski talks with Madeleine Brand.