JEAN PROUVÉ

1901-1984
France

« All I have done always came out of a constructiv spirit. I had never a vision or a form in my mind, I don’t have style. I had never draw some forms. I did constructions which had forms. »

• Jean Prouvé •

Jean Prouvé is a true pionnier in both architecture and design : he is one of the most important artist in the 20th century, rediscovered in the 1990’s. His contributions in architectural reconstruction, Post-War urban-planning, furnishing and theoretical fields are high-profile. 

He begins as a metalsmith apprentice with Robert, Enghien et Szabo in Paris where he works cast iron before discovering electrical weld and bent sheet steel. This material is deeply connected to Prouvé’s fame : he can shape hollow body and gain sturdiness. He is a virtuoso who brings to a fever pitch metal in architecture and furniture. He develops ingenious mass-produced structures, easy to put together, easy to adapt in several environments, easy to transport and easy to assemble/dismantle. « There is no difference in the design of a building and a furniture », as the artist says himself, a true revolution for furnishing and architecture.

From a simple studio in 1924 to a whole workshop in 1931, Les Atelier Jean Prouvé, he grows his business with a factory in Maxéville in 1947 where 200 employees works to do houses, schools and furniture. In 1930, he is one of the founding member of the Union des Arts Modernes (U.A.M.) besides Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. He gets himself noticed in the 1930’s thanks to the furnishing of the Nancy student residence in 1932 but it’s the Clichy community center (1935-1939) who puts him under the spotlights : this one is created on collaboration with architects Beaudoin and Lods, with a glass-and-steel structure and Jean prouvé uses his prefabricated process. During the World War II, he plays an important role in the Resistance. After the Liberation, he becomes Nancy’s mayor and he designs houses for homeless people. His contributions to the reconstruction is tremendous : the Antony student residence (1954) is only the most famous example but he has created many houses and school can be taken apart, architectural elements and furnishing participating to his fame. 

His life is fully-wealth : the most Parisian prominent gallery owner Steph Simon sells his furniture exclusively since 1956 ; between 1957 and 1968, he leads the construction department o the Compagnie Industrielle de Matériel de Transport (CIMT) in Paris ; then he manages a Parisian office as an independent advisor architect until 1984 ; between 1957 and 1970, he is professor at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) allowing a true knowledge and mind-set handover ; in 1971 he is the president of the jury for the competition of the Centre Pompidou and he defends the winner Renzo-Piano project. 

Jean Prouvé has marked as the public areas as the private spaces : he is a true humanist genius and his « constructive mind » connects sharply fabrication and fonction, rational material use and economy, the whole guided by his mass-produced items. It’s because of this perfect combination that Jean Prouvé is at the pantheon of architects and designers •

CATALOG :

Jean Prouvé table

JEAN PROUVÉ1960

Standard chair

JEAN PROUVÉ1950

A set of Standard chairs

JEAN PROUVÉ1950

White Standard chair

JEAN PROUVÉ1950

Black Standard chair

JEAN PROUVÉ1950

SCAL daybed

JEAN PROUVÉ1954