Re-imagining the Maison Tropicale : a 21st century prefabricated building system inspired by Jean Prouvé
Author(s)Nelson, Margret I
21st century prefabricated building system inspired by Jean Prouvé
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Re-Imagining the Maison Tropicale proposes new system for prefabrication, applied to the context of tropical housing. Given the failure of contemporary prefabricated systems to provide creative solutions that can be mass-produced, this thesis refers to Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale as a post-WWII precedent for innovation and a lens through which the issue of prefabrication is further examined. Taking inspiration from the Maison Tropicale's lightweight, ambitious, panelized kit of parts, the thesis studied the needs of contemporary homes and integrated the above into a new concept for a unitized system of construction. The new construction system maintains the lightweight aluminum design of the original Maison Tropicale while separating structure from fittings and furnishings, producing a greater degree of flexibility and adaptability within the home. Through a methodology of materials research, analysis, design and prototyping, several iterations of full-scale wall panels were developed successively; the resulting design takes into account actual panel weight and connections, as well as questions of durability, ease of assembly, and fabrication. The final aluminum honeycomb panel system works as a kit of parts, where corner elements are rigid to allow for ease of assembly on site and to allow for design variations with minimal changes to the kit. The system's assembly sequence is thoroughly coordinated with the design of each panel's edge details; by designing these connections into the panel guarantees that architectural intentions translate to the final product, assembled on remote sites while also ensuring that only a small team of unskilled workers is required to construct the final building. Lastly, the kit of parts was applied to the design of a new home in the Tropics, accounting for local concerns such as shading building orientation, moisture and ventilation.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, June 2011.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 162-166).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology