Here, a piece about pre-fab housing that predated most prefab housing, and is worth a lot because of that, via CNN International:
Though he was far from a failure -- he had a large, cutting-edge factory and won several architecture prizes during his lifetime -- the pioneering pre-fab housing of French designer Jean Prouvé has only become sought-after in the past decade.
After the Second World War, there was a dire need for cheap, quick-to-produce housing. Bombing had destroyed millions of homes -- in France, 1,836 municipalities were officially declared war damaged, some 18% of all buildings.
In 1947, Prouvé conceived his first "demountable house," a 10-by-12 meter steel and wood unit. With no foundations, the dwelling was assembled by hand and supported by a two-legged structure he called the "axial portal frame", which he patented and used in all his subsequent modular housing.