Published
Publication date: Summer 2018
117% funded
88 backers

In this history of Prefabs, discover why these supposedly temporary ‘people’s palaces’ are still loved and admired.

Prefabs came about through the authors’ work and friendship with the people who have lived or are still living in “prefabs”: temporary homes built in the factory at the close of the Second World War. As slums were cleared after the Blitz, there was a pressing need for housing, so successive governments championed prefabrication as a speedy solution. The resulting bungalows with slightly pitched roofs, pretty gardens and all the mod cons became home to hundreds of thousands of people around the country, often those who had not previously had the luxury of hot running water or a fridge. No wonder, then, that they became so loved. 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, with residents often fighting to hold on to them.

There has been growing public interest in these fast-disappearing houses, and the communities they fostered, so the importance of recording their histories is keenly felt. In the book we recount some of the stories that residents have kindly shared with us – from the first time they laid eyes on their prefabs to their attempts to hold on to their “little castles” beyond their designated “temporary” timeframe.

The success of post-war prefab housing called for a wider look at the role that prefabrication has played in the history of British homes, with particular attention paid to social housing and its developments before, during and after the Second World War. There is also a look at architectural innovation and imaginative design in the field of prefabrication and clever solutions being put forward to solve the housing crisis of today. Fewer and fewer prefabs remain – but you can still spot them here and there, sitting cosily among their big brick-built neighbours, a lesson in thoughtful design, community building and what it means to have a house to call your own.

Book Specs

240mm x 170mm
54 colour and 47 b&w illustrations
124pp

Elisabeth Blanchet is a writer and a photographer. She writes on various topics, with a particular interest in prefabs, Gypsies and Travellers and photography. She is the author of Prefab Homes published by Bloomsbury/Shire Books in October 2014. She is also the founder and the co-director of The Prefab Museum, a museum dedicated to post-war prefab homes.

Sonia Zhuravlyova is a journalist and historian. She has written about post-war prefabs for the Guardian and various architecture magazines.

It looks like Elisabeth Blanchet and Sonia Zhuravlyova has not made any updates yet. Check back soon!

These people are helping to fund Prefabs: A Social and Architectural History.

Avatar
Katya Colley
Avatar
Ben Austwick
Avatar
Brian Screaton
Avatar
Masha Karp
Avatar
Matt Bruce
Avatar
Clare Palmer
Avatar
Kiran Hungin
Avatar
Leslie Hardy
Avatar
Tom Long
Avatar
Angela Kenrick
Avatar
Clare Butler
Avatar
Bill Richards
Avatar
David Neill
Avatar
Carlo Navato
Avatar
Jon Lawrence
Avatar
Artemy Kalinovsky
Avatar
Elena Varshavskaya
Avatar
Robert Cox
Avatar
Sergei Grachev
Avatar
Roy Levien
Avatar
Nana Zhvitiashvili
Avatar
Richard Davies
Avatar
Ian Lee
Avatar
Robert Pugsley
Avatar
Daniel Stilwell
Avatar
Lee Melin
Avatar
Ian Pleace
Avatar
Robert Leach
Avatar
Dorothy Halfhide
Avatar
PATRICIA COKER
Avatar
Doreen O' Rourke
Avatar
Alla Rubitel
Avatar
Alison Steele
Avatar
Marina Kamenskaya
Avatar
Catriona Kelly
Avatar
Charles Horsey
Avatar
Vicky Walker
Avatar
Myles Albon-Crouch
Avatar
Daniel Robertson
Avatar
Martin Snow
Avatar
Andrew Johnson
Avatar
Mary Barber
Avatar
Michael Paley
Avatar
Charles Bowyer
Avatar
Scott Hedges
Avatar
Barbara Hungin
Avatar
Chris Harry
Avatar
Alison Porter
Avatar
Steve Sykes
Avatar
christine antonini
Avatar
Brian Mahoney
Avatar
Sergio da Silva
Avatar
Julian Porter
Avatar
Emily Petretta
Avatar
Mark Fox
Avatar
Sam Manning
Avatar
Hazel Nicholson
Avatar
Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson
Avatar
Heather Hyams
Avatar
Mark Anderson
View all supporters

Join in the conversation

Sign in to ask a question