abandoned his studies quite young to become an apprentice ironworker.
Passionate about automobiles, planes, bridges, he intended to
apply the new technologies to the habitat. At the beginning of
the 1920s, he produced furniture, metal joinery, lights which
he presented at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in 1925.
Prouvé adhered to the Union of Modern Artists (UMA) from
the start of his creations (1929), and for the first exposition,
he devised reclining metallic seats. After having placed a copyright
of moveable partitions, destined to plan small spaces, (inspired
by this principle) a prototype for a metallic construction built
on piles was conceptualised in his workshops. Assisted by Beaudouin
and Lods, he applied this principle to the construction of an
aviation club in Buc (1935), and of the People’s house
of Clichy (1935-1938). From this collaboration was born a model
for the pre-fabricated and easy to dismantle house for vacations
and for weekends, the “BLPS House” (Beaudouin, Lods,
Prouvé, Forges de Strasbourg).
With Le Corbusier, he conceived another metallic house project,
self-supporting, industrially built, and delivered fully equipped.
He also worked with Charlotte Perriand on the concept of metallic
furniture. In the pre-war period, Jean Prouvé conceived
a light facade in aluminium : the very first modern “curtain-wall,”
which would eventually become widely used in architecture.
During the Occupation, Prouvé entered into the Resistance.
At the Liberation, he became very involved in the reconstruction.
His workshops built 800 houses, “houses 8 by 8”
for the stricken population of Lorraine and des Vosges.
In 1955, l’Abbé Pierre requested him for a study
on an economical house for the homeless. “The house of
better days” was delivered, ready to be inhabited and
built in two hours. This house would not have the success anticipated.
In 1971, Jean Prouvé presided over the concours international
du centre Georges-Pompidou. Amongst his ultimate creations :
the hertz tower of Ouessant.