An Urban Nest: A Kansas City Prefab Home

This Kansas City prefab, designed by architecture students, proves that green homes can be edgy and affordable.

| September/October 2008

Leah Farley and her husband, Kenny Dickens, live in a sleek rectangular box atop a hill in Kansas City, Kansas. Come Christmas, she says, “We’re thinking of trying to configure some kind of giant ribbon to make it look like a wrapped present.”

A gift it is, in many ways.

Designed by architecture students from the University of Kansas (KU) Studio 804 program, which focuses on sustainable and affordable design, this two-bedroom, one-bath home suggests a stylish future for entry-level housing. Perched on stilts, with a panoramic view of the downtown skyline, it’s affordable, edgy and green. “I was thrilled to find something so unique, especially in Kansas City, where you see a lot of great older architecture but not many contemporary houses,” Leah says.

Because the KU program focuses on encouraging redevelopment in economically challenged neighborhoods, Leah knew the home would be reasonably priced. “They want working folks to be able to afford to live in an amazing house,” she says.

Daring design, flexible space

Leah and Kenny’s home was built in six modular units in nearby Lawrence, Kansas, where the Studio 804 program is based, then trucked 40 miles to Kansas City and assembled. Indoors and out, it blends bold design with subtle detail. From the street, concrete stairs sweep up a steep hill to a home that barely touches the ground. Set on exposed concrete piers, this house tiptoes on the earth. River rock nestled below the structure provides both drainage and counterpoint—a natural touch of warmth.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265