NEWS - DECEMBER 2021
Koto | Modular Architecture
This British-based prefabrication specialist has been hard at work developing modular home design.
THE KOTO STUDIO DESIGNS MODULAR HOUSES, cabin and sculptural small builders draw inspiration from Scandinavian design and culture. Co-Founders Johnathon and Zoe Little lived on the shores of Norway’s fjords and developed a deep appreciation of the local aesthetic and environment.
Koto began looking further east to the minimalist world of Japanese design and their focus on social functionality. Koto shares their emphasis on clean and simple details that provide a sense of calm. This exploration has helped Koto’s designs evolve into the carefully considered works they are today.
In a recent development, Koto has unveiled their first two-story unit that was covered in a recent Wallpaper* news release written by Ellie Stathaki:
British-based prefabrication specialist Koto has been hard at work developing modular home design, from compact work cabins to agile mini abodes, since its inception in 2017. The forward-thinking company, founded by couple Johnathon and Zoë Little and architect Theo Dales, has completed a range of minimalist cabins, such as its off-the-grid sauna in Ireland, all infused with Scandinavian style and sustainable architecture principles. But the energetic brand is not resting on its laurels, taking its minimalist Nordic architecture aesthetic to the larger scale and launching its first ever, two-story modular design – meet Falcon House.
The project, an elegant design made of two stacked and twisted volumes that cantilever out towards the landscape, features an inverted version of the traditional house layout – its bedrooms and more private, enclosed spaces are located on the ground floor, while living and entertaining areas are upstairs, making the most of the views. "We believe well-designed spaces can transform our environment. Koto creates simple, flexible and functional homes which embrace slow living," says Dales. And Falcon House’s strong connections to its surroundings, through both views and materials, underlines this approach.
A dark timber skin envelopes the clean, boxy volumes of Falcon House, and inside, the wood theme continues – only in lighter color tones that flow from floors to walls and ceilings, as well as bespoke joinery and cabinetry everywhere. The building is made of an exposed CLT structure and walls, and the whole is energy neutral. ‘Koto homes and cabins are designed with the belief that beautiful buildings can be accessible to everyone and can correspond with our natural environment. Using form, material and texture to create minimalistic yet highly efficient “healthy” homes,’ say the team. In addition to using wood, some ground-level spaces are treated with St Leo plaster paint, which creates an organic, ‘perfectly imperfect’ feel.
A coveted space to retreat to, an environment of “quiet luxury,” this home is seen as somewhere to slow down, the team emphasize. “This is a house where spaces have been designed for the users to contemplate and watch the leaves rustle in the trees, or to be social and embrace the joy of celebration with friends and family.” This Nordic architecture-style gem of a modular home design is situated in the Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds, by developer Habitat First Group.