Realizing the Vision
A fully functional prototype was the first step in realizing our vision. Thanks to the Rice Building Workshop’s long held relationship with the community group Project Row Houses, we were given the opportunity to test the ModPod in a historic shotgun house. Through this relationship, we were able to build a prototype of our design and insert it in an out-dated structure; Project Row Houses end up with a fully renovated and modernized home to add to their resident program. Win Win!
Realizing the Vision
Project Row Houses has been building community and fostering art in Houston’s Third Ward for many years. It was the perfect place to test our notion of urban sustainability, that is to use the ModPod to bring new life to an old home while preserving existing social and cultural fabric.
First Steps
The first ModPod was inserted in a shotgun house at the corner of Bastrop and Stuart, a house known locally as the Bastrop House. Pre-fabrication took place two blocks away at the Rice Building Workshop ‘Work Yard’, which provided shelter from the elements and an on-site workshop outfitted with everything needed to assemble the prototype. We fabricated the components for the ‘highly secret structural system’ off-site, a system that resulted in a lighter, stronger, more efficient core. Everything else was designed around conventional residential construction methods, which allowed greater flexibility for in field adjustments and finishing.

As the prototype neared completion, we demolished the existing bathroom and non-structural partitions in the Bastrop House and framed an opening to accept the ModPod. Once everything was ready, the ModPod was transported by forklift from the Work Yard to its new home. Insertion and weather-proofing occurred all in a single day: this is where the speed of this delivery method really became apparent.

Renovations continued over the following days to update interior finishes. Upon completion, the Bastrop House was turned back over to Project Row Houses; a celebratory open house reception is soon to follow.

A House Reborn
After opening festivities, the Bastrop House + ModPod will serve as an artist’s residence. Artist residencies are a key component of the Project Row Houses vision, and they allow artist to engage and improve the neighborhood through their own work and by hosting extra-curricular art classes for neighborhood children.