Subtitled Metal Living for a Modern Age, this charming Quonset hut history edited by Julie Decker and Chris Chiei belongs in every Quonset lover’s library.
A series of individual essays, the book focuses on various aspects of the creation of the Quonset hut during the World War II era, and its subsequent adoption by American culture after the war. Each essay is profusely illustrated with archival photos, advertisements, drawings, and even some humorous New Yorker-style cartoons.
The book also touches on one of the things I love about Quonsets, namely the place they occupy in between high and low culture. In addition to advertisements touting use of Quonset huts for everyday commercial uses like car dealerships and supermarkets, they are also discussed as objects of high design by great architects. Several projects by architect Bruce Goff (whose mentor was Frank Lloyd Wright) are featured, as well as French modernist Pierre Chareau’s 1946 house for artist Robert Motherwell on Long Island, New York.
Though its focus is on the historical version of the hut, Quonset Hut: Metal Living for a Modern Age is great inspiration that fans of either historical huts or today’s frameless sheet metal shells will enjoy. You can order a copy from Amazon here.
Follow along as we build the Quompound!
Laugh with us. Cry with us. Gaze the Arizona night sky with us. Our monthly newsletter will bring all our construction adventures to your inbox: the challenges, anecdotes, wins, and lessons learned as we build our prototype Quonset Houses, and launch the Quompound as a Grand Canyon vacation rental destination. Unsubscribe any time if it’s not for you.
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. We also have a private Facebook group called DIY Quonset Dwellers, where we share discussion, design, and construction tips with others who are interested in building their own Quonset hut house. Learn more and request to join the Facebook group here.