May 29, 2007

Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale

POST #    2494

A week from today, if you've got lots of money to spare and some storage space, you can bid on Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale through Christie's. Lot #0311 was built in 1950-51 and is a prototype by French architect and designer Jean Prouvé. Be sure to save your pennies though - Christie's estimates the house to go for $4-6 million.

Prouvé thought that the Maison Tropicale would be a perfect house for French colonies in Africa, where the mass-produced houses could be easily shipped (this one fit in six containers) and assembled. Only three of the houses were ever built in the late 40's and early 50's, with little interest from the colonialists the houses were meant for. The house for auction next week was in Brazzaville in the Congo. The house - 16' tall, 59' long, and 32' wide - comes wired for electricity, but with no plumbing. All you get is a one room designer house. The house has been restored (removing bullet holes and evidence of squatters) to its original form except for one bullet hole.

A second Prouvé house is on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, while the third house will be a traveling Prouvé museum financed by the sale of this house. If you're in NYC anytime soon, you should definitely check out the house before it's sold.

I wonder what a more beautiful backdrop for the house is - the jungles of Africa, or the industrial settings of Long Island City with Manhattan in the background.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, NYC, Photos at 9:16 AM



Definitely Manhattan. Love the angles in your photos.

Posted by: Marie at June 2, 2007 9:26 PM

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