Monday, December 10, 2012

Morphology: Jean Prouve’s Prefabricated Houses over Time

1924- Prouve opens up his own workshop in Nancy and begins designing and producing lamps, chandeliers, handrails, and furniture.  His style was set apart from the Bauhaus steel furniture of the time, which used steel tubing.  Prouve preferred sheet metal, which would be bent, pressed, and then welded.  The Legs of his furniture closely resemble the porticos, which he uses in his later buildings.

1930- Jean Prouve developed lightweight tents and huts that could be easily disassembled and transported.  The tents consisted of an exposed metal frame from which a canvas was hung.  Many of his later constructions had a similar exposed metal framing.


1937- Working with Beaudouin and Lods Architects, Prouve developed the BLPS House.  It was originally designed to be a vacation house, but after the war was used as housing for war victims.  It was light enough to be moved a few times per season, but maintained a certain amount of permanence.

1939 Prouve developed prefabricated barracks for French army.  These huts needed to have a certain degree of permanence so the ability to dis and reassemble was put to the side.  The buildings had central porticos, which consisted of two thin vertical elements joined half way up by a brace and at the top by a triangular piece, which the ridge beam fit into.  This element has developed over time and is the focus structure for Prouve.

                                                                   Barrack Section

Barrack Perspective

1941- Prouve collaborated with Pierre Jeaneret to design demountable houses for various housing projects in France.  They were built on foundations of stone or brick giving the houses a considerable life span.

1945- After WWII ended Prouve became involved in a camp programme to rehouse homeless war victims.  Modular portico and external frame huts were constructed.

                                                Demountable House Side Elevation

 Demountable  House 1 Front Elevation
 Demountable House 1 Sketches

Demountable House 2 Perspective

1948- Various Prefab colonial homes were developed for the African Colonies.  Many of the houses had the portico structure which progressed from design to design.  Other buildings such as school houses and colleges were designed.

Study of Light Weight Colonial House: Section
Study Sketches

Light Weight Colonial House Side Elevation

Light Weight Colonial House Section

Type A Colonial House Section

Type B Colonial House Perspective 1949

Study of a Tropical House: Section

                                                           Brazzaville School House Section

Brazzaville School House Perspective

1949- Maison Tropicale in Niamey, Niger is constructed as a prototype and provided housing and offices for the director of the college in Niamey.  The façade is made up of three components: solid panels, panels with portholes, and doors.  The interior structure is made up of central porticos.

                                                             Niamey North Elevation
                                                               Niamey Side Elevation

Niamey Side Section

Exterior and Interior Photos

1950- Maison Tropicales in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo are built and connected together by a small bridge.  The smaller building was used for offices for Studal and the second larger building was the residence of the aluminum company’s director.  Unlike the Niamey house, which rests on a concrete slab, the Brazzaville buildings are raised and rest on a beam bearing structure with steal panel floors.  The later versions of Maison Tropical also contain the addition of window panels.

                                                         Brazzaville East Elevation

Brazzaville Side Elevation

Brazzaville Front Section

Component of Large Brazzaville House

Brazzaville Houses Together

Brazzaville House Parts Before Construction

                                                              Exterior and Interior Photos

Large Brazzaville House In Paris

Interior Porticos

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