During World War II, the resources of the building industry were turned to the war effort. Materials were scarce and domestic buildings were subject to strict guidelines in terms of size and expenditure. These restrictions continued into the post-war years when there was a desperate need for housing, with a wave of new migrants and returned servicemen all looking for accommodation.
The prefabricated Beaufort Homes (1946), designed by architect Arthur Baldwinson for the Department of Aircraft Production, were part of a government scheme to alleviate housing shortages. They were also a method of converting munitions factories to peace time needs. Although the scheme was ultimately abandoned, it represented a pioneering venture into prefabricated building design and production.
“The Beaufort Home is a culmination of intensive research in design, durability, insulation and equipment by the Beaufort Division of the Department of Aircraft Production in association with the Victorian State Housing Commission and the Commonwealth Department of Works and Housing through their Experimental Building Station … The house is essentially of steel construction, comprising floor members, walls, roof structure and sheeting, and is mounted on concrete foundation stumps.” (Brochure, 1946)
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