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Quonset Hut: Metal Living For The Modern Age Hardcover – December 31, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...explore(s) an inimitable legacy...what these structures--simple, spacious, yet not readily accomodating--teach us about how we now define home. -- Architecture, 12/2005

About the Author

Chris Chiei is project director for the national research project Quonset. She is director of the Alaska Design Forum and is a professional architect.

Julie Decker is author of Icebreakers: Alaska's Most Innovative Artist. She has curated numerous exhibits on contemporary art as owner of the Decker/Morris Gallery. Both authors live in Anchorage, Alaska.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (December 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568985193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568985190
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. F. Benedetto on May 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are few good books describing the Quonset Hut, its origins and how it became such an icon of US military (and later, civilian) life, and this may be the best of the lot. Filled with plans, drawings, archival photos and period advertisements, the book illustrates not only the serious but the humorous consequences that the huts from Quonset Point, RI had on America, especially in the post-war era. (Did you know that future US President Gerald Ford started his first political campaign out of a Quonset hut in Grand Rapids, Michigan?) It's a well-researched and illustrated study of these ubiquitous structures, and how they altered the landscape.

If you've been looking for a good book on the Quonset hut, this is it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a kid I remember, with a certain bit of romance, seeing quonset buildings scattered here and there about southern California. They appeared to have existed there forever, to a kid, and they seemed to resonate with a rough and ready sort of workshop essence that said, "Give me your best shot, you can't hurt me." I like that.

This book has a lot of Alaskan examples, some modified WWII buildings that serve as homes. There are a few (precious few) examples of the use of this particular room configuration in buildings that . . . well, that seem to have been created by architects to best display the unique bent-frame construction as picturesque residences. Some architects are disdainful of this particular technology. Too bad. Just looking at the hoop buildings makes me want to utilize such a self-supporting structure for a workshop, home or . . .

This is not a technical manual, more of a history of a type, but if you look closely, you will be able to pick up on some of the technical details that make these buildings unique. The arch-framed quonsets are more interesting to me than the self-supporting-skin buildings that are becoming more common today . . . but whatever helps people get into their own homes, garages and shops is what is important . . . whatever the technology.

Perhaps a partially glazed or plastic-covered, quonset orangery to fight the winter-time blues?
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By Marty on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I restored a quonset but based on this book.It was a revised WWII hut that no one had a clue how to handle and this book gave me everything.I didn't care much about the history but is was all there in spades if you were interested.This was a really big deal with the housing shortage after the war and this book will only become more appreciated.The standard for knowledge and background on quonset huts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I learned so much from this book. I knew about Quonset Huts, but I didn't know the history of the structures. I used the information I learned in our application for a historic designation for our fire station. Our Quonset Hut station was put up in 1951 and it is still standing. It has served our small community well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, well researched and very interesting for anyone interested in building types. However, print (font size) is way too small and difficult to read. Should re publish book in a larger size!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this book. The history of the hut from beginning to today is amazing. Americana at its best. The reason I gave it four stars is that there was very little on today's living in a quonset hut or how to find out about living in a quonset hut. The ads in the book from yesteryear on developing q-hut living is very modern for its day. I wish I had more information on how to build a true home out of q-huts. I have talked to many steel companies about this but they say the only sell the materials and the rest is up to me. Outside of that lack of information the book is fantastic, especially if you like history. If you buy it you will not be disappointed. If you like to have interesting coffee table material for your guests to read, then this is a must. This is an almost forgotten piece of every American's history. It would make a great gift for anyone. I received it on time and in great condition at a great price. I use Amazon almost exclusively for purchases and have never been disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
Though the title may spawn a smile or chuckle from some, it will certainly arouse diverse stories from those who have resided, worked, or otherwise experienced a quonset. This survey of its development, history, and influences through time is concisely presented. Well stocked with photos, drawings and thorough research, this book also shows prominent architects whose designs were inspired by the quonset. Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller, Campbell & Wong were among them. A few pages are devoted to Bruce Goff, including his Quonset-derived designs for the Camp Parks Chapel and the Ford House in Aurora, Illinois.

My favorite Quonset-inspired design, however, is that from James W. Fitzgibbon: the 1950 Daniel residence in Knoxville, Tennessee. Fitzgibbon is known for his partnering with Buckminster Fuller in developing the geodesic dome as well as a distinguished academic career. If published today, Daniel residence would fit well among any of our great organic masterpieces.

Quonset Hut would be an interesting and welcome addition to any Modern book library.
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