Bergdoll, Barry, Peter Christensen, and Ron Broadhurst. Home delivery: fabricating the modern dwelling. New York: Museum of Modern Art :, 2008
The concept of the origin, especially the origin of architecture, is fundamentally flawed in nature- and the search for said origin is often futile. Peter Pfau and Wes Jones acknowledged this truth, but chose to delve into their search regardless. It is in this exploration of the idea of an architectural origin in which the Primitive Huts and their purpose were conceptualized.
The Primitive Huts have a dual purpose:
- To elevate the machine and its role as a dwelling to the status of architecture
- To subvert architecture and urban form in their project
Through these fundamental goals, Pfau and Jones set out to question the validity of the origins of architecture present in the form of the primitive hut, while simultaneously exploring its relationships to the machine and the spacial structure of suburbia. They chose to challenge suburbia, without attacking it. The interpretation of the ambiguous origin of architecture lead them to rather revitalize and improve the concept of building in suburbia. This process was referred to as “souping up”, an upgrade to the body of suburbia, with obvious reference to the “souping up” of hot-rods in the automobile industry. Pfau and Jones looked to add meaning and expression of the individual to the mass produced, repetitive housing in modern suburban settings.
Ostwald, Michael, and John Moore. "AA - Adam's House in Cyberbia-." Architecture Media . http://www.architecturemedia.com/aa/aaissue.php?issueid=199703&article=13&typeon=3 (accessed November 8, 2012).
The shipping containers used in the construction of the primitive huts may be used similarly to lego blocks, as they can easily stack to form more complex and versatile compositions. They are essentially economical steel and aluminum building blocks. The shipping container is extremely versatile as it may be used for both permanent and impermanent dwellings, while providing ease of transportation.Because shipping containers were designed to withstand extreme weather conditions during travel, they are watertight and built to resist hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes, therefore they are not only inexpensive, but also exceedingly durable.
The construction of the Primitive Huts consists of standard cube shipping containers. The containers were then customized and improved upon with the addition of a series of elements. Logs, twigs, I-beams, glass and aluminum were added to perform the supporting functions of the structure.The Huts were then customized through the dissection, modification and additions which were particular to the clients needs. Some of these additions include: ramps, shades, photovoltaic panels, HVAC systems, porches, pools and struts. The Primitive Huts were part ready-made , part customized collage. Jones' distinctive drawing style with annotations and exploded axonometrics conveying the house as a kit, portrayed his view of the construction as an assemblage of parts.
Arieff, Allison, and Bryan Burkhart. Prefab. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2002.
Bergdoll, Barry, Peter Christensen, and Ron Broadhurst. Home delivery: fabricating the modern dwelling. New York: Museum of Modern Art :, 2008.
"Jones, Partners: Architecture ." frac centre. www.frac-centre.fr/collection/collection-art-architecture/index-des-auteurs/auteurs/jones-partners-architecture-58.html?authID=100 (accessed November 3, 2012).
“The descent of post-war optimism to outright nihilism ends with ones of Wes Jones’s militaristic Primitive Huts (1994-8). A rigid steel fame on which mechanical shutters are mounted, the hut is covered by a pitched roof made of uneven wooden logs.
The heavy shutters look like protective shields; it could be the ideal hideaway for a recluse, Unabomber style, suggesting American individualism taken to its darkest extreme”
Ouroussoff, Nicolai. " Home Delivery’ - At MoMA, a Look at Instant Houses, Past, Present and Future ." The New York Times . http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/arts/design/18dwel.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& (accessed November 5, 2012).