Jean ProuvéThe construction of demountable house
The houses were informed by Prouvé’s theory that, ‘in their construction, there is no difference between a piece of furniture and a house’.
Jean Prouvé’s demountable houses were a response to the urgent plight of homeless French civilians after the Second World War. Constructed from wood, glass, and steel and aluminium components, they were informed by Prouvé’s theory that, ‘in their construction, there is no difference between a piece of furniture and a house’. These adaptable prefabricated homes could be readily assembled on the sites of destroyed buildings, and were habitable within one day.
Grounded in a belief in the equal value of art and industry, Prouvé’s pioneering and humanist approach advocated functional design and rational manufacture. He was a founding member of the Union des Artistes Modernes (U.A.M.), a group of important Modernist designers, disillusioned with the lavish tastes and elitism they encountered in much of 1920s design.
During the past week, a ‘6 x 9’ demountable house has been constructed inside the Phillips gallery space in London, and we documented this process. The house has been furnished with several of Prouvé’s own designs, as well as the work of fellow U.A.M. members Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret. The upcoming Modern Masters auction at Phillips presents this house, together with ‘Pyrobal’ fireplace (1944-1945), and alongside other significant 20th century designers such as Gio Ponti, Jean Royère, Alberto Giacometti and Jean-Michel Frank. The house is available for public viewing in London until Thursday 27 April.
Find out more at phillips.com.