Famed industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss and architect Edward Larrabee Barnes collaborated on the prototype prefabricated aluminum structure in the late 1940's.  Built in the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft factory, the walls and roof are composed entirely of lightweight, honeycombed cardboard and sheet aluminum composite panels. 

 

The Fleet House's original and unique design and production logic aimed to define a new concept inhousing.  To make up for the decline in aircraft manufacturing after WWII, many aircraft companies attempted to adapt their factories and technology for home manufacturing.  The project was funded by the federal government's Guarantee Market program, created to provide housing and employment for workers making the transition to a postwar economy.

 

After World War II, innovative yet modest materials, assembly-line construction, and compact proportions were all solutions to the challenge of affordable single-family housing.  Unfortunately revised mortgage-lending policies after the war limited the financial interest of The Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Company and the project was eventually sold to Southern California Homes, the markeing division of Conolidated Vultee, which moved the house to its present site in South Pasadena, California.

 

Excited by the innovative design and eager to show prospective buyers a view into modern living, Reginald Fleet, president of Southern California Homes moved his family in while the new concept was being introduced.

 

Historically known as the "Consolidated Vultee House", and commanly referred to as "the Fleet House", today it may be the only structure still remaining that was designed, built and pre-assembled entirely in an aircraft factory.

Photos courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust.  Used with permission.  Julius Shulman Photographer.  c. J. Paul Getty Trust.  Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10).

 

House Built in a Factory

1947

Famed industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss and architect Edward Larrabee Barnes collaborated on the prototype prefabricated aluminum structure in the late 1940s.  Built

in the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft factory, the walls and roof are composed entirely of lightweight, honeycombed cardboard and sheet aluminum composite panels.

 

The Fleet House's original and unique design and production logic aimed to define a new concept in housing.  To make up for the decline in aircraft manufacturing after WWII,

many aircraft companies attempted to adapt their factories and technology for home manufacturing.  The project was funded by the federal government's Guarantee Market program, created to provide housing and employment for workers making the transition

to a postwar economy.  

 

After World War II innovative yet modest materials, assembly-line construction, and compact proportions were all solutions to the challenge of affordable single-family housing. Unfortunately revised mortgage-lending policies after the war limited the financial interest of The Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Company and the project was eventually sold to Southern California Homes, the marketing divison of Consolidated Vultee, which moved

the house to its present site in South Pasadena, California.

 

Excited by the innovative design and eager to show prospective buyers a view into modern living, Reginald Fleet, president of Southern California Homes moved his family in while the new concept was being introduced.

 

Historically known as the "Consolidated Vultee House", and commanly referred to as "the Fleet House", today it may be the only structure still remaining that was designed, built and pre-assembled entirely in an aircraft factory.