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Jean Prouvé

1901 — 1984

Jean Prouvé was a French architect and designer. One of the most talented designers of the XX century.

Jean Prouvé was born on April 8, 1901 in Paris in the family of artist Victor Prouve. In his youth, he mastered the profession of a locksmith and master of art forging. In 1923 he opened his first workshop for the production of art chandeliers. Later he took up the design of furniture.

In 1931, he organized in Paris, together with Eugène Beaudouin and Marcel Lods, the Atelier Jean Prouvé Bureau, whose most famous project was the People’s House (French: Maison du Peuple) in Clichy.

In 1940-1951 worked with architects Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret, was engaged in the design of furniture, which was a significant part of his creative work. During World War II, Prouvé worked in his workshop (at that time he assembled bicycles and designed the Pyrobal stove), and also took part in the Resistance, thanks to which he became Mayor of Nancy and was appointed a member of the Founding Assembly (his name is mentioned in memoirs General de Gaulle for 1944). One of his notable works is also the Mame printing house in Tours, created jointly with Bernard Zehrfuss.

The projects of Jean Prouvé were not only distinguished by high functionality and quality, but also by the rather low cost of their manufacture. Its furniture is still very popular, and some models continue to be manufactured even now, for example, “Fauteuil de Grand Repos”.

Jean Prouvé tried to transfer industrial methods to architecture, without losing the final product in the aesthetic quality.

Many designers and architects of our time have picked up and continue to implement the ideas of Prouvé, among them Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel and Norman Foster.

In 1971, he was chairman of the jury when considering projects for the design of the Pompidou Center in Paris.