"Congo Civil War Kills 45,000 Persons Monthly," accessed December 9, 2012, http://jdasovic.com/category/africa/page/4/

Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "France," accessed December 09, 2012, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/215768/France.

"Picture of the Battle of Algiers," accessed December 9, 2012, http://www.listal.com/viewimage/1830059

"The Cold War Comes To Asia," accessed December 9, 2012, http://www.kingsacademy.com/mhodges/03_The-World-since-1900/09_The-Cold-War/09b_The-Cold-War-Comes-to-Asia-r.htm

"Les ateliers de Jean Prouvé à Maxéville - Presse plieuse Pels," accessed December 9, 2012, http://claude.fourcaulx.free.fr/mon_hist/Jean%20PROUVE/vateliers.htm

Time, "Time Photos," accessed December 9, 2012, http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1681193,00.html

Global Security,"Republic of Congo Post-Independence War," accessed December 9, 2012,

"Les Pieds Noirs d'Algérie," accessed December 9, 2012, http://piednoirdalgerieunblogfr1944henriettedicastelli.unblog.fr/2010/12/11/les-chaines-brisees-en-algerienne-le-11-decembre-1960/

Global Security, "Republic of Congo Civil War," accessed December 9, 2012, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/congo-b.htm

"Wat maakt het merk Ford," accessed December 9, 2012, http://www.nieuwsauto.nl/wat-maakt-het-merk-ford/

"Ruins of the 20th Century," accessed December 9, 2012, http://briangdillon.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/31/

The Wall Street Journal, "Ho Chi Minh: The Videogame," accessed December 9, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203436904577151011200588958.html

"Quotation: Charles de Gaulle on French unity," accessed December 9, 2012, http://johngushue.typepad.com/blog/2010/02/quotation-charles-de-gaulle-on-french-unity.html

"French colonial Moroccan troops WW2," accessed December 9, 2012, http://pinterest.com/pin/171981279491918699/

"Jean Prouvé" accessed November 10, 2012, http://www.jean-prouve-architect.com

"The Architect," accessed November 10, 2012, http://www.lamaisontropicale.com/www/

O'Day, Kathleen. “Tropical or Colonial? A Reception History of Jean Prouvé's Prefabricated Houses For Africa.” (Thesis, Louisiana State University and Art College, 2009.)

French Colonialism

Indochina and Rubber
Rubber Tree Plantation, Indochina, 1931

Around 1900, rubber trees were exported little from Indochina (only about a few hundred metric tons). At this time, France saw the importance of this resource to their empire and aimed to increase exportation; the French minister of colonies said that rubber was of great interest to French colonies overseas. With French scientific aid, France experienced a rubber boom between the mid 1920's and 1938. The depression in the 1930's created problems for Indochina's rubber market and rubber workers levied for a four franc tax per kilogram on rubber imported from outside the French empire. A report suggested that this tax was necessary because former rubber workers that were out of work would threaten the social and political stability of the Indochina colony, something that the French government feared. There was also opposition to French owned plantations in Indochina. Despite the poor economic conditions, by the late 1930's, Indochina was exporting over 60, 000 metric tons of rubber trees and in the agricultural sector, it was the greatest exported product next to rice. At this point, France had reached their goal of self sufficiency as Indochina's rubber tree exports fulfilled the French empire's need for rubber.

Michitake Aso. "The Scientist, the Governor, and the Planter: The Political Economy of Agricultural Knowledge in Indochina During the Creation of a "Science of Rubber," 1900-1940." East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal 3, no. 2 (2009): 231-256. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed December 5, 2012).

"The Origins of French Rubber Plantations in South Vietnam and Indochina," accessed December 9, 2012, http://www.quanloi.org/abattery14oneandonesite/rubberplantations/originsoffrenchrubberplantations.htm

First Indochina War

Ho Chi Minh
During French Colonial rule in the 1930's, the Vietnamese were becoming anti colonial, opposing French rule, especially considering that factories were all French run. The most prominent example being Ho Chi Minh communism in favour of colonialism proposition. In 1930 he created the Indochina Communist Party and was met with opposition by the French government, who had him condemned to death. After the fall of France to Germany in 1940, he was able to take advantage of this situation and shortly thereafter, he and his lieutenants entered Vietnam in 1941. Then he established the League for the Independence of Vietnam (Viet Minh), which replaced the former Indochina Communist Party. In 1945, he declared Vietnam independent, meeting greater resistance from the French government. Charles de Gaulle was the leader of France at the time and opposed Minh's take over of Vietnam and therefore sent in French troops, which reclaimed control of South Vietnam. Negotiations occurred between the two parties, but led nowhere. The stalemate was broken, when the French opened fire on Vietnamese, killing 6, 000 and starting the First (or French) Indochina War (1946 - 1954). Through guerrilla tactics, Minh's army was able to defeat the French, ending the war in a landslide for the Viet Minh at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. France had built up an developed Vietnam as colony to supply the entire empire with rubber. With the loss of this colony in 1954, it was no longer self sufficient. As well, the loss of the colony, meant that the French Empire lost a market for the empire's goods, as Vietnam could no longer have French goods forced upon them. 
Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien Phu Map

Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "Indochina wars," accessed December 05, 2012, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/286443/Indochina-wars.

Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "Ho Chi Minh," accessed December 05, 2012, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/268300/Ho-Chi-Minh.

Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "Battle of Dien Bien Phu," accessed December 05, 2012, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/162678/Battle-of-Dien-Bien-Phu.

"Dien Bien Phu,"  accessed December 8, 2012,http://www.mekongexpress.com/laos/general/dbp_battlemap.htm

"A Day That Shook ...," accessed December 8, 2012, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/history/a-day-that-shook-the-world-french-surrender-at-dien-bien-phu-2234619.html

Algerian War - Gaining Independence

Setif Massacre

The strong movement for Algeria's Independence started after Algerian soldiers fought in World War I. In Woodrow Wilson's 14 point speech, he made note to the self rule of colonies and following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, 1917, communist movements began popping up in France. The communist party of France supported Algerian independence and the North African Star party was established in Algeria, 1926; however it was met with French opposition and disbanded in 1929. At this time, Algerians were not able to obtain French citizenship and France decided to allow some to obtain it; this move was opposed by many Algerians. The French were not ready to give up the colony. The newest party, Party of the Algerian People was founded in 1937 and disbanded shortly thereafter. Following the Allied victory in World War II, a parade in Algeria led to a riot killing some French. This was met by retaliation from the French Army, where approximately 40, 000 were killed. Algerian anti colonialists determined that an armed resistance would be necessary to achieve independence and thus the Special Organization was established in 1947. In 1954, it was the National Liberation Front that formed and the war began. That same year, a UN debate voted in favour of Algeria's independence. The French used tactics including psychological warfare and torture to death during the war, which led the public opinion of France to decline and this war was no longer supported. In 1960, the French leader Henry De Gaulle voiced his support for Algerian independence and a referendum in France in 1962, voted in favour of Algerian independence.

Ahmed, Nazeer, PhD. “The War of Algeria's Independence 1954-62, ” accessed December 6, 2012. http://historyofislam.com/contents/the-modern-age/the-war-of-algeria’s-independence-1954-62/ 

Parienté, Jonathan & Pouchard, Alexandre. "Vél d'Hiv, Sétif, essais nucléaires : les repentances de l'Etat," accessed December 8, 2012,http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2012/10/18/vel-d-hiv-setif-essais-nucleaires-les-repentances-de-l-etat_1777800_823448.html  

French West Africa
French Colonial Africa
The colonies of French West Africa first began their fight for independence following the end of World War II. Prior to 1946, these colonies did not have many rights and only people in Senegal could be French citizens. In France's colonial past, it was interested in African colonies as a source of resources (large bauxite reserves) and labour. Forced labour, imprisonment, military conscription and etc. were suffered by the people of these colonies. Unlike other French colonies, no real attempt was made to improve their lives. In 1944 , at a conference in Brazzaville, colonies expressed their desire for more liberal policies by the French government. These post war movements towards independence led to a rise in political and nationalist parties, including the Rassemblement Democratique Africaine (RDA) and Senghor's Convention Africaine. Some of the main goals of the RDA included independence for colonies and unity. In 1946, the colonies of French West Africa were given the right to form local government and were given seats in the French government. However, local government was given to sections of colonies, not the colonies as a whole. It is suggested that this would destabilize French West Africa in the hope of maintaining control and access to resources. With some of the largest bauxite reserves in the world, and France producing plenty of aluminum, it is clear that France wanted to be able to continue to benefit from this resource. Considering colonies only gained independence in 1960, this also expressed France's unwillingness to give up the colonies, in a time where there was a push to decolonize from the new super powers: the United States and the Soviet Union.

Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "colonialism, Western," accessed December 07, 2012, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/126237/colonialism.

Ali-Dinar, Ali B., PhD. University of Pennsylvania. “French in West Africa.” Accessed December December 7, 2012, http://www.africa.upenn.edu/K-12/French_16178.html

Elizabeth Schmidt. "Anticolonial Nationalism in French West Africa: What Made Guinea Unique?" African Studies Review 52, no. 2 (2009): 1-34. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed December 7, 2012).

Davyson, Sam. “Abundance.” Accessed December 7, 2012, http://sam.davyson.com/as/physics/aluminium/site/abundance.html

Elizabeth Schmidt. "Anticolonial Nationalism in French West Africa: What Made Guinea Unique?" African Studies Review 52, no. 2 (2009): 1-34. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed December 7, 2012).

Markets and Resources
Wartime Industrialization: The Housing Problem
Wars often require various factories to produce the necessary war machines for a country to compete in their war. But what happens after the wars are over, and the weapon factories are no longer needed? France, as well as many other countries, experienced this slow down in manufacturing when both World Wars ended. Armament factories benefit no country when they are not needed.
As it was, France in particular suffered from this problem when World War II ended. Their armament factories had over produced and shortages in other areas were popping up all over the place. France experienced huge shortages in housing and in schools. They needed a solution to their manufacturing problems that would also solve their housing shortage.
With industrialization of many countries occurring in the mid 19th century, many architects began fabricating pieces for houses in various factories. During World War One, and the years thereafter, many architects like Le Corbrusier, Walter Gropius, and Richard Buckminster Fuller had taken full advantage of industrialized fabrication of homes inside otherwise vacant factories.
With other architects as precedents in the industrialized housing field, France sought out Jean Prouvé through Aluminum Français to build homes for war victims of France in the now useless armament factories of World War II.
Meudon Houses
Jean Prouvé was the best man for the job as he began his early work as an industrialized metal worker in Nancy. Prouvé, along with the collaboration of Aluminum Francais, began to fabricate the war victim homes after the contract was given to Prouvé in 1944. Prouvé worked with other firms to fabricate these new homes, and over the entire fabrication period they managed to turn out 400 homes.
It is believed that this push from France to utilize its War factories as a means to fabricate necessary buildings in France was a huge influence on Jean Prouvé as he took on his own post war factory in Maxeville where he fabricated many of is great buildings.


Botti, Andrea. "The work of Jean Prouvé and its infuence on contemporary architecture of the late 20th century ." Edinburgh School of Architecture.
Sulzer, Peter. Jean Prouve Complete Works 1944-1954. Vol. 3. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhauser, 2005.

Prefabrication Before Prouvé

After WWI, modern architects became more interested in the industrial prefabrication of houses. The main goals were to produce cheap homes quickly that would allow beauty to be accessible to all.  However, most of these house did not go further than the prototype stage.  

In 1928, Buckminster Fuller filed the patent for the Dimaxian House.  It was a hexagonal shaped metallic house which was suspended by cables from a central mast.

  "Dimaxion means making the most out of the least... at the time, I realized that if we wanted quality housing for all, houses should be mass produced, and in large quantities just as cars... Why don't we apply the techniques used by the navy or aviation to terrestrial constructions?  To make all this possible I realized that I had to wait for aluminium, plastic and highly robust alloys to become available at reasonable prices." Fuller

In 1933, M. Ravaze studied prefab construction prier to Provue and became an influence on his later designs.  He completed a study of a bus terminal in 1933 which was the first architectural study concerning constructions entirely built out of bent sheet metal.  The project comprised of two buildings: the bus terminal itself and the waiting area for ticket sales.  Years later, Prouév designed coach terminals at La Villette, near Paris in a similar fashion and has continued to work with sheet metal in his buildings in a similar way.

Jean Prouvé's Coach Bus Terminal at La Villette

Henri Sauvage and Andre Bloc proposed a solution to combat the disorganization at construction sites with prefabricated buildings.  In their proposition, buildings were made up of multiple metal-framed cells with vertical beam like posts on the the outside which could easily be stacked on top of each other to form the building.  These cells would be produced in the factories and then assembled on site.  This eventually developed into the idea of producing cellular parts in the factories which could easily be transported and the building would be constructed on site.  Jean Prouvé may have never seen their work but the process he developed is nearly identical.  However, unlike Sauvage and Bloc, Prouvé was able to bring the process into reality.

Centre Pompidou, Jean Prouvé La Maison Tropicale (Paris: Centre Pompidou, 2009)

Éric Touchaleaume # Galerie 54, Jean Prouvé # Les Maisons Tropicales (Paris: Éric Touchaleaume # Galerie 54, 2006)

No comments:

Post a Comment