Origin

Front Row Builders, Inc. was conceived from a passion for designing and building small, ecologically friendly, architecturally compelling, livable spaces. We love working up creative solutions to complex problems, and the housing crisis and high cost of living in the crowded Bay Area, where we are based, is a problem that surrounds us daily. It was almost inevitable that we would some day attempt to confront this growing challenge.

Our professional backgrounds and collective interests equip us with the necessary tools for this project. We are fabricators, mechanics, engineers, and designers inspired by nature, craftsmanship, digital fabrication, permaculture, art, and architecture. Our sister company, SF Metalworks, is a high-end metal fabrication company where we have built a reputation for and commitment to quality, service, and reliability. We are driven by what we consider an unparalleled sense of fit and finish and an unrelenting standard of quality.

Evolution

Our evolution from the design and fabrication of architectural metalwork to the design and fabrication of architectural spaces has been a process we have been excited about for a long time. We have developed skills and technologies that we can not only translate into this venture, but that will help us excel within it as we seek to elevate the standard of living spaces.

We were introduced to the Seattle-based Blokable team at 2017's LAUNCH Festival, where it became clear that it was time to make this transition. We had previously entertained ideas of joining the trend of repurposing shipping containers to create modular housing, as well as possibly developing our own modular housing unit and system. Both ideas had shortcomings and long-term timelines that made it difficult for us to transition. But suddenly, here was a group that had developed a product we could incorporate immediately, eliminating the retrofitting processes required with containers, and side-stepping the intensive development process of starting from scratch.

DIRECTION

There is still a lot of work ahead, but we're incredibly excited about the potential of building living spaces with Blokable, and seeing how our architectural capacities develop.  Their flexible units and connection system offer opportunities to customize spaces efficiently, and as we develop architectural components that integrate with their system, these opportunities will continue to grow. Stairs, balconies, kitchens, furniture, doors, windows, railings, sun screens -- we envision ourselves creating all of these components so that we can drag, drop, plug, play to create efficient and beautiful prefabricated spaces with small physical and ecological footprints.