Can anything good come out of a crisis such as natural events that we read about in the tabloids? For some, it is not all bad news, because at certain instances, these provide the impetus for the most innovative architectural concepts to come of age like a flower in blooming stage.
Poetic as they may be described, the simplicity of quonset hut homes is one of the first things that come to mind. How can a half pipe made from corrugated steel become a stable and usable space for important equipment and supplies? The secret of these structures lies not in the material itself but in mathematics. Yes, you got that right, mathematics, but not the same math you studied in high school algebra. The math used here goes right down to the molecular level- in other words in geometry.
To understand this type of explanation may mean taking a trip back in time to the ancient times when the first wheel was invented. These shapes are the most important inventions that man has created in thousands of years. Nature itself speaks volumes about the strength of spherical and circular objects. Planets are spherical and their rings are created on circular patterns. In other words, the discerning eye would understand that apparently, nature has decided that the way to resist gravity is through smooth circular structures- a phenomenon discovered to be true even for the strangest crystalline bonds that are found inside the strongest minerals and metals.
The strength of spherical shapes therefore is the preferred configuration by natural elements. In fact, the ancient Romans and Chinese have found that the only way to support high structures such as brick and stone bridges is to use the arch – a primary component of a sphere. Almost all the gothic and baroque masterpieces of architecture are predicated on the strength of the arch and its near cousin – the buttress and the flying arch. Without these essential elements- the high rise buildings we know today will not be possible; if only the discovery and exploitation of steel changed all that in the turn of the twentieth century.
The emergence then of a structure that uses the hemispherical shape almost exclusively is bound to happen because governments want immediate structures in crisis centers and for emergency purposes. At those times that people need a roof over their heads and goods, the Quonset hut has been the ready and reliable answer – the US Army has attested to this as evidenced by the numerous Quonset hut variants their engineers have developed.
In this sense, it can be interpreted that the emergence of the Quonset hut is an evolutionary step in the ongoing learning process of man discovering the secrets of nature. The more people learn from the science that makes nature work like a machine, the more he learns about himself and translate these ideas to structures that can benefit humankind. From our blood vessels , made from cylindrical pipes to our manmade wonders of steel and stone- the divine genius in the shape of the Quonset hut homes are not just emerging, they were here all along and people are just beginning to understand how they work and why nature put them here. These days quonset hut kits are available in greater numbers to make it even easier to experience one of these fascination structures for yourself.