Quonset hut
Quonset huts in front of Laguna Peak, Point Mugu, in 1946.
A Quonset hut being put in place at the 598th Engineer Base Depot in Japan, post-World War II

A Quonset hut is a lightweight prefabricated structure of corrugated galvanized steel having a semicircular cross section. The design was based on the Nissen hut developed by the British during World War I. The name comes from their site of first manufacture, Quonset Point, at the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center in Davisville (a village located within the town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, USA).


Design and history

In 1941 the United States Navy needed an all-purpose, lightweight building that could be shipped anywhere and assembled without skilled labor. The George A. Fuller construction company was selected to manufacture them. The first was produced within 60 days of contract award.

The original design was a 16 ft × 36 ft (5 × 11 m) structure framed with steel members with an 8 ft (2.4 m) radius. The sides were corrugated steel sheets. The two ends were covered with plywood, which had doors and windows. The interior was insulated and had pressed wood lining and a wood floor. The building could be placed on concrete, on pilings, or directly on the ground with a wood floor.

As the original design used low grade (non-strategic) steel, a more rust-resistant version was called for. The all-spruce 'Pacific Hut' was created for use in the PTO (Pacific Theater of Operation).

The most common design created a standard size of 20 ft × 48 ft (6 m × 15 m) with 10 ft (3 m) radius, allowing 720 square feet (67 m²) of usable floor space, with optional four-foot (1.2 m) overhangs at each end for protection of entrances from the weather. Other sizes were developed, including 20 ft × 40 ft (6 m × 12 m) and 40 ft × 100 ft (12 m × 30 m) warehouse models.

The flexible interior space was open, allowing for use as barracks, latrines, offices, medical and dental offices, isolation wards, housing, and bakeries.

Extant Quonset hut adapted for commercial use, Westland, Michigan

Between 150,000 and 170,000 Quonset huts were manufactured during World War II. After the war, the U.S. military sold the surplus Quonset huts to the public. Many are still standing throughout the United States. Besides those that remain in use as outbuildings, they are often seen at military museums and other places featuring World War II memorabilia. Many were also used for temporary postwar housing, such as Rodger Young Village in Los Angeles, California. Columbia Records' Studio B in Nashville was also called "The Quonset Hut", and Michigan State University's Quonset Village in East Lansing, Michigan, USA.[1]

A number of variations on the Quonset hut design use materials other than corrugated galvanized steel.[2][3]

See also


  1. ^ World War II and the expansion of Michigan State, Matthew Herek, 16 November 1999, self-published.
  2. ^ Quonset : Metal Living for a modern Age.
  3. ^ Quonset Huts, waymarking.com.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Quonset hut — ☆ Quonset hut [kwän′sit ] n. [< Quonset, a trademark, after Quonset Point, R.I., where first manufactured] a prefabricated shelter made of corrugated metal, shaped like a longitudinal half of a cylinder resting on its flat surface …   English World dictionary

  • Quonset hut® — /kwonˈset or kwonˈsit hut/ noun The US equivalent of the Nissen hut …   Useful english dictionary

  • Quonset hut — 1942, from Quonset Point Naval Air Station, Rhode Island, where this type of structure was first built, 1941. The place name is from a southern New England Algonquian language and perhaps means small, long place …   Etymology dictionary

  • Quonset hut — [[t]kwɒ̱nsɪt hʌt[/t]] Quonset huts N COUNT A Quonset hut is a military hut made of metal. The walls and roof form the shape of a semi circle. [AM] (in BRIT, use Nissen hut) …   English dictionary

  • Quonset hut — noun a prefabricated hut of corrugated iron having a semicircular cross section • Syn: ↑Nissen hut • Hypernyms: ↑hut, ↑army hut, ↑field hut * * * /kwon sit/, Trademark. a semicylindrical metal shelter having end walls, usually serving as a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Quonset hut{™} — n a US military shelter. It is a long metal building with a round roof, like a tunnel above ground. The huts are made in sections which can be put together for soldiers to live in. They have also been used for shops, schools, etc. They were first …   Universalium

  • Quonset hut — /kwon sit/, Trademark. a semicylindrical metal shelter having end walls, usually serving as a barracks, storage shed, or the like, developed for the U.S. military forces from the British Nissen hut at Quonset Naval Base in Rhode Island. * * * …   Universalium

  • Quonset hut — Quon′set hut [[t]ˈkwɒn sɪt[/t]] Trademark. archit. bui trm a semicylindrical metal shelter having end walls • Etymology: orig. developed for U.S. military forces at Quonset Naval Base, Rhode Island …   From formal English to slang

  • Quonset hut — куонсетский барак. (От Quonset Point Куонсет Пойнт, населенный пункт в штате Род Айленд, где на авиабазе ВМС во время второй мировой войны стали впервые изготовляться сборные жилые дома из металлоконструкций с утецлительной прокладкой из дерева,… …   Словарь топонимов США

  • Quonset hut — Quon|set hut [ˈkwɔnset ˌhʌt US ˈkwa:n ] n AmE trademark a long metal building with a curved roof where soldiers live or things are stored …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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