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Welcoming the New Age Housing: Quonset Huts

Manmade housing designs have always been ruled by requirement and functionality, and special needs call for extraordinary structures, the Quonset huts. Built during the trying times of World War I, Quonset huts are basically prefabricated metal housing made of galvanized steel. Primarily intended as transitory housing meant for the US army, the Quonset huts proved to be a blessing when the post war times saw a tremendous populations outburst. Post World War II saw Quonset huts being custom built by several companies some of which adapted the original design while others continued to use the old arched shape. Regardless of the fact that the original Quonset hut was built during the catastrophic times of war they have hence resurfaced as the modern symbol of an American design innovation.
Originally influenced by the Nissen hut design of the British, Quonset huts have thus been transformed and adapted into functional units that offer great flexibility in interior design. One of the significant influences of the original Quonset huts was the arch roofed storehouse units that utilized lightweight metals such as Aluminum. Other structures also emerged including the Weather Port units that retained some of the features of the Jamesway hut. Modifications to the Quonset hut have also resulted in other trademarked structures such as the Portaseal hut and the Pacific hut. Quonset huts find application both as residential structures as also for commercial purposes. Several versions of the original Quonset hut have installed with wooden ribbing and insulated fabric that allows even usage under the extreme arctic conditions. Many of these temporary structures found usage during operations that were carried out under strong weather, and they came with practical add ons such as fiber glass insulated interiors and fire resistant muslin as well as insulated blankets for added protection.
Quonset huts make innovative residences since they allow usage of indigenous material while still exhibiting a modern and functional aura to the interior and provide optimal usage of available space. Well known residences that adopted the design include the Daniel House in Tennessee which was uniquely built by incorporating salvaged Quonset hut support units. The lightweight feature of the Quonset hut is valuable since it means savings in terms of shipping and effortless construction. Apart from the fact that they are lightweight, Quonsets are easily built on a large scale for quickness of shipping and assemblage of the prefabricated units thus making them as durable as they are inexpensive. Undeniably the Quonsets have lent their distinctive structural traits to everything from residential and commercial complexes to even places of worship. In essence Quonset huts have been nothing short of an architectural phenomenon of sorts making the journey from being utility buildings to a design breakthrough. The Quonset hut has made quite a remarkable journey from being mere shelters to the meeting of functionality with modernity and imagination.

by: fredthompson
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