The US Navy needed housing that is easy to disassemble, light, and can be transported across long distances. Moreover, the building must be simple enough so it can be put together by people with no real carpentry or construction skills. To meet these challenging requirements, the Quonset Hut was born. At this point, it is worth noting that the Quonset Hut was not a completely original design. Its arched dome and long body are based on an earlier design-the Nissen Hut.
The Nissen Hut was built by the British during World War I. The Quonset benefits from the design challenge the Nissen Hut answered-a design that distributes the weight of the building efficiently. The Quonset’s greatest assets are its mobility, light prefabricated construction, low cost, and ease of assembly.