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PreFab Houses Hardcover – August 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3836507536
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836507530
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 1.8 x 13.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,362,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arnt Cobbers studied art history, history and musicology, and did his PhD in medieval church architecture. He lives as a freelance author in Berlin, and has written several books, mainly about history and the architectural history of Berlin. His monographs about Erich Mendelsohn and Marcel Breuer were published by Taschen Verlag. He is also the editor of music magazine Concerti.

Oliver Jahn studied literature, philosophy, and linguistics. He has worked as a freelance writer for Die Welt, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Rheinischer Merkur, as an editor at Suhrkamp Verlag, and as design and architecture editor at Monopol magazine. Currently he is director of architecture and design at Architectural Digest magazine.

Peter Gössel runs an agency for museum and exhibition design. For TASCHEN he published monographs on Julius Shulman, R.M. Schindler, John Lautner and Richard Neutra as well as several titles in the Basic Architecture Series.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on July 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
An interesting, essentially visual, historical overview of prefabricated housing. Looking at some of these houses I find it hard to believe that they are built from pre-made units. Page 176 features a remarkable looking house designed by Heinrich Hellmuth and on page 190 another stunning home by Manfred Adams. Both houses are in Germany and use laminated wood and extensive areas of glass for walls and the companies that manufacture the units offer plenty of choice.

The two authors write a twenty-five page illustrated introduction. This is in English, French and German, which rather limits the space so it fairly zips through the history of prefabs: Sears Roebuck houses by mail (between 70, 000 and 100,000 sold between 1908 and 1940) the Keck House at the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exhibition; Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House; Quonset and Nissan huts and into this century references to CAD; Muji in Japan and BoKlok in Scandinavia; and the Quik House (using reconverted shipping containers).

I thought the Intro was just a bit too brief. Nothing about the huge number of different style of units built by the US government during the Second World War to house eight million war workers and their families. This was covered by Hugh Casson in his 1945 Penguin book: Homes by the million,: An account of the housing achievement in the U.S.A., 1940-1945,, snd still available on the net. Similarly the British experience of building over 150,00 temporary houses between 1944 and 1949 is not mentioned at all.
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Format: Hardcover
From its functional beginnings as an inexpensive way for Britons to begin inhabiting Australia on a mass scale in the 1830's to the modern day, cutting edge assemblages that populate the category today, prefabricated housing has had a longer and more illustrious history than most people are aware of.

Taschen's large scale survey of the work simply titled "Prefab Houses" covers the range and breadth of the prefabricated housing movement. From ready-to-build home kits from the Sears catalog to a series of angular and futuristic designs beginning with 1931's Illuminare house, this book provides a detailed overview of every significant movement of the prefab movement.

More than just a design volume, authors Arnt Cobbers and Oliver Jahn describe the unique and myriad issues (design, fabrication, transportation and final construction) related to creating housing in a factory as opposed to on location. Examples abound from Ohio's famed Lustron homes to France's spaceship styled Bulle Six Coques to Munich's Micro-Compact Home to numerous others from Europe to Thailand.

Throughout this volume, the photos and illustrations provide one surprise after another showing example after example of modern, sleek constructions that dazzle the eye and the senses. The fact that they all come on a truck or in a crate is remarkable enough and this 387 page, heavy-weight book serves as the most complete compendium so far of this still somewhat esoteric phenomenon.
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Format: Hardcover
PREFAB HOUSES offers insights into the mass-produced house that's constructed in a factory and assembled on site in a few days or weeks. Unlike other coverages on the topic, this covers the entire global prefab movement from the U.S. to Asia and Africa, offering assessments not just of structure but of accessibility, delivery difficulties, and the mechanics of their assembly and construction. Lavish, full-page color photos compliment an oversized presentation especially recommended for college-level collections strong in architectural history and construction.
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