High-end architect teams with manufactured home maker

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Mountain Brook-based architect Jeffrey Dungan is known for the clean and modern houses he has designed across the United States.

These homes are typically million dollars-plus, or in other words, the antithesis of the manufactured residences that Maryville, Tennessee-based Clayton Homes is known for.

That’s what makes Jeffrey Dungan Architects and Clayton Homes partnership so unique.

“When we started working on these tiny houses we began by thinking of living a more edited life and in simple ways and times,” Dungan said in a statement on the design series website. “As that line of thinking led to making architectural choices, we also found that simple lines were the most powerful and elegant. We looked at forms of simple outdoor structures- and found tents and teepees and sheds. We found materials that were natural seemed to fit in best with what we were creating- and indeed in the environments that these structures might populate.”

Out of this exploration came five designs, he said. They were inspired by “nature, history and simplicity.”

One of these tiny home designs — called the Low Country — is featured in Alabama Center for Architecture’s new exhibit, Living Space: Tiny House Project.

The Low Country is tiny at 393 square feet, but the design incorporates high-end but rustic finishes such as poplar bark siding, cedar shake shingles, aluminum clad windows, oak flooring and whitewash ceiling beams. The home can sleep eight people and boasts lots of storage space.

Michael Burleson, of Clayton Homes, said the homes are being made-to-order in the company’s Addison facility. The approximately $120,000 homes take six-to-eight weeks to construct.

He said the home currently on exhibit is sold and will be shipped to Guntersville soon.

The Living Space exhibit featuring tiny spaces across the globe was curated by Seattle-based architect Garrett Reynolds. The project showcases innovative micro-living spaces from places like New York City, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Seoul and Tokyo.

The exhibit will be open to the public at the Alabama Center for Architecture in downtown Birmingham.

Alabama Center for Architecture Executive Director Rhea Williams said she hopes the exhibit gets Birmingham residents thinking about what they can live without, and how Birmingham can improve on urban living.

“We are really hoping this exhibit makes people think about their housing choices in the future,” she said, “and how we approach housing in the future in downtown Birmingham.”

Williams said Birmingham isn’t out of space in its urban areas yet, but the city needs to be prepared as the urban living trend continues.

“I think it is a very exciting time to be living and working in Birmingham,” she said, adding that hopes the state Legislature reinstates historic tax credits, which will lead to more redevelopment in downtown.

The Birmingham portion of the exhibit features Morgan Loft, a private residence built in a former warehouse in downtown; Pullman Flats, a mixed-use facility constructed in formerly run-down buildings in downtown; and Graf Loft, which is a renovation of a historic downtown building into restaurant and living space.