Tag Archives: Architecture

Prefab Classic: Casa de Ferro (Iron House) in Tropical Africa


“Casa de Ferro: Ever heard the saying �people who live in the tropics shouldn�t build iron houses�?

Nope? Neither had old Gustav when he came up with the highly impractical Casa de Ferro (Iron House), which he designed as a residence for the governor of the Portugese colony. Unfortunately the prefabricated iron building became (unsurprisingly!) unbearably hot under the African sun and the governor couldn�t live there.

Behind the Casa de Ferro lie the Jardim Tunduru (botanical gardens). At times a little overgrown, these beautiful gardens, which were designed in 1885 by the English gardener Thomas Honney”…. <More>

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Vintage Prefab: Lustron Home-All Steel & Factory Built

IT ALL STARTED one day in 1946 when Carl Gunnard Strandlund, fifty years old, the $100,000-a-year Vice President and general manager of Chicago Vitreous Enamel Products Co., was doodling on the tablecloth at lunch. He had been talking with officials of Standard Oil (Indiana), who wanted to get Washington’s permission in those material-scarce days to build some more service stations. For a dozen years Chicago Vitreous had been making easy-to-clean porcelain-enameled steel wall panels, shiny white as a tile bathroom and as easy to clean, For Standard and other midwestern service stations.

“You know, Carl,” someone at the lunch table said, “you could make houses out of that stuff. And in this housing crises…” On the tablecloth, engineer Strandlund began designing what he later called the Lustron house. A few weeks later he went to Washington to get permission to build his service stations. He stuffed the preliminary drawings for the Lustron house in his briefcase, he says, to fool around with in the evenings”…. <More> and  <More>

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