Prefabs

A Social and Architectural History

Elisabeth Blanchet and Sonia Zhuravlyova

Prefabs

Elisabeth Blanchet and Sonia Zhuravlyova

Distributed for Historic England Publishing

124 pages | 54 color plates, 42 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 3/4 | © 2018
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9781848023512 Published November 2018 For sale in North America only
As slums were cleared all across England after the Blitz in World War II, the need for housing became pressing, and prefabrication was quickly embraced as a temporary solution. The resulting bungalows with slightly pitched roofs, pretty gardens, and all modern conveniences became home to hundreds of thousands of people around the country, including many who had not previously had the luxury of hot running water or a fridge. These squat little homes were meant to last just a decade—a mere stopgap as the country got back on its feet—but many of the prefabs are still standing today, with residents often fighting to hold on to them.
            Responding to growing public interest in these fast disappearing houses and the communities they fostered, this book recounts residents’ first-hand experiences—from the first time they laid eyes on these “little castles” to their attempts to hold onto them beyond their designated short-term time frame. Authors consider the relative success of postwar prefab housing in the wider context of British social housing and examine clever solutions being put forward to solve the housing crisis today.
            Fewer and fewer prefabs remain, but you can still spot them here and there across the English landscape, sitting cozily among their big brick-built neighbors, a lesson in thoughtful design and community-building. 
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