Fauteuil Kangourou – A beloved favourite

A Vitra Anecdote

Historical photographs of the villa of Saint-Clair, which is located at the Plage de Saint-Clair in Provence, provide a wonderful impression of how the couple Roger and Marguerite Dollander spent their summers with family and friends – surrounded by a collage of custom-built designs and architecture made in the Ateliers Jean Prouvé. It is like peering into a capsule from the past that was way ahead of its time.

The mid-century summer residence, later to be known as the Villa Dollander, was constructed by Henry Prouvé and embodies the spirit of his brother, Jean Prouvé, combining aesthetic functionality with a simple way of living. In the house, there is no waste of space. It is all about basic essential needs, nothing more, nothing less.
Designed by Jean Prouvé in 1948, Fauteuil Kangourou was originally produced in a very limited number for a few special clients. For their Villa Dollander, Roger and Marguerite ordered a total of four pieces, including a unique two-seater version.

According to their grandson, Olivier Lalande, the final details for the house came down to the furniture, which was the subject of discussions between the Dollander family and the architect. He comments:
«I have a lot of memories of parents, aunts and friends sitting in the Fauteuil Kangourou. Some were reading, some were enjoying a drink, some were playing the guitar. It was a large and comfortable chair.

Three of the Fauteuil Kangourou armchairs had tubes in Métal Brut. One was upholstered with red textile, the two others in green, and they all had white piping, and were sewn by my grandmother. For the Villa Dollander, Jean Prouvé also designed a two-seated version of the Kangourou with a structure in red metal.»
In the villa of Saint-Clair, the Fauteuil Kangourou chairs were mainly used in the living room but occasionally several were brought outdoors and positioned under the awning in order to lounge in the open air and enjoy the view of the garden and seashore.

The Dollander family kept their four beloved Fauteuil Kangourou for more than 50 years, enjoyed by three generations. Today, more than 70 years after leaving the Ateliers Jean Prouvé, these lounge chairs are valuable artefacts and belong to private collectors of Jean Prouvé designs.

The historic pictures used for this article are kindly shared by Olivier Lalande, grandson of Roger and Marguerite Dollander, the first owners of the villa of Saint-Clair, who were friends and clients of Ateliers Jean Prouvé.

Publication date: 13.6.2022
Author: Stine Liv Buur
Images: For the works of Jean Prouvé: © 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich ; With permission of Olivier Lalande

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