Living in a metal shed. Quonset Huts on Naval Station Rota




Quonset Hut, metal sheds, prefabricated, Naval Station Rota, 1960s


During World War II, and even in the years that followed, thousands of American soldiers lived in prefabricated semi-cylindrical metal huts that could be dismantled and reused: Quonset Huts. Their singular design and their multiple uses made Quonset Huts an American military design icon. The daring construction system made it possible to manufacture them in the United States and take them across the Atlantic, armed with a comprehensive instruction manual. The Seabees, American soldiers posted to Spain to build the Naval Station Rota, set up a provisional camp in 1959 comprising fifty-three Quonset Huts. Assembling them in Spain provided housing for 500 soldiers and they were fitted with all types of facilities for their functions.  This text aims to shed light on this unknown case of prefabricated dwellings in our country, contextualising the history of their design, construction and installation, and analysing the repercussion of this constructive experiment in the early days of prefabricated construction in Spain.


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