Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jean Prouvé's demountable office

An excellent piece in Slate by Kristin Hohenadel (where there are lots of photos) looks at the intriguing garden office designed by Jean Prouvé. Prouvé was a 20th-century pioneer of innovative furniture and architecture, known in particular for his assembly systems for hardwearing structures which meant that buildings could be eailly dismantled, moved about and modified.

For the last 25 years, Galerie Patrick Seguin has been campaigning for recognition for Jean Prouvé’s demountable buildings - it has 23 - and his 1948 Maxéville Design Office where he worked on his designs is now on show at Design Miami in Basel until Sunday. Here's a video of it being re-assembled.
Jean Prouvé Bureau d'études Maxéville Design Office, 1948 from Galerie Patrick Seguin on Vimeo.

Here's what Galerie Patric Seguin says about it:
Intended as a demonstration model that would convince the public of the virtues of prefabricated housing, this was a copybook model: the use of the structural axial portal provides an open, fluid plan rendered highly adaptable by interchangeable partitions and one-piece glazed or solid facing panels. The house failed to find the success that had been hoped for and it was ultimately set up in 1952 at the Maxéville plant, where it became the Ateliers Jean Prouvé Design Office . After Prouvé’s departure in 1953, following fundamental differences of opinion with the majority shareholder in the Ateliers, the buildings bearing his stamp were demolished or demounted. The only one to remain was the Design Office , whose original panels were cladded over. It subsequently served as the premises for a heating company, a restaurant, and lastly the "Bounty" swingers’ club.
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

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