Architecture and Design

Thinking Inside the Mod Box

On the corner of Second and Hadley streets in Phoenix, just south of the Warehouse District's Bentley Projects, Vine Saccento is silently building something -- without any tools.

Saccento's may be familiar; he opened (and recently closed) Phoenix breakfast/coffee spots Drip and Toast. Now, he's back without the brew, and he's busy building cube-like, prefabricated living spaces called Mod Boxes.

Saccento says three Mod Boxes will occupy the space by the end of September and that Phoenix will be the first city to have them.

"There are no nails, no screws, no paint, no drywall, no maintenance," says Saccento. "Two people could build one of these in two days."

Check out design features and Saccento's future Mod Box plans after the jump ...

The Design:
The Mod Box is prefabricated living space (read: it can be assembled anywhere). Saccento insists: The Mod Box is not a modified shipping container, which usually measures 40-by-8-by-6 feet. This space is much more a cube, which measures 10-by-10-by-10 feet.

The cubes come in pairs connected by an 8-by-10-foot breezeway. The pressed-glass partitions on each side of the breezeway, like sliding a glass doors, create privacy and an outdoor-feeling living space. One cube functions as the kitchen and living room, while the other has space dedicated to the bedroom and bathroom (each Mod Box is built to accommodate a single person comfortably). 

The Interior:
Saccento describes his places as "Gucci cubes" -- perhaps with reason. Each pre-furnished cube comes with a Fagor refrigerator, Duravit sinks and toilet and shower, an induction cooktop, Tempur-Pedic sofabed, flat screen TV and walnut cabinets.

The Mod Boxes will be run by a property management company and will rent for less than $1,000 per month, though Saccento envisions Mod Boxes being used for more than just rentals.

"I could use these to build a boutique hotel with a four star restaurant and lobby on an infill lot near the light rail in less than six months," says Saccento. 

For more information about the Mod Box, including reservations and pricing, contact them here.