Prouvé, Jean

Jean Prouvé was the son of the famous Victor Prouvé, a painter and sculptor of the Nancy school. In 1916 he joined the ironwork shop of Emile Robert. In 1923 he opened his own ornamental ironwork shop, where he conceived in 1924 his reclining chair made out of folded lacquered steel and canvas. His interest for architecture led him to achieve the ironwork for the Hotel Thiers in Nancy, and the “People’s house” in Clichy in 1938. During WWII Jean Prouvé enters the Résistance. In 1944 he founded the “Ateliers de Maxéville” which worked mainly on prefab furniture. Working with other architects like Pierre Jeanneret, he designed interiors where he used modern materials and techniques. He was part of the team that designed buildings in the new business district La Défense, like the Nobel tower or the CNIT. In his design works Jean Prouvé used mainly iron and folded sheet, although some of his creations were exclusively comprised of wood, like his chair “Tout bois”. As an architect he was internationally acclaimed but his design works are somewhat unrecognized.