Jean Prouvé Collection
A chair by Jean Prouvé marked the beginning of furniture manufacturer Vitra’s relationship with the work of French designer Jean Prouvé. Even after more than twenty years, the collaboration with his heirs still remains active and strong: Vitra is now revising the collection with new colours and introducing a number of lesser known designs.
Without formal training in architecture, Jean Prouvé relied on collaborations with his younger brother, the French architect Henri Prouvé and many modern architects of his time for the execution of his building ideas, such as Eugène Beaudoin and Marcel Lods for La maison du peuple in Clichy-sur-Seine or Pierre Jeanneret for a model of a demountable pavilion. Prouvé is known for constructions made of standardised, prefabricated elements that provided a solution for low-cost housing – in urgent demand after the Second World War. In later years, Prouvé worked in Paris as a consulting engineer on numerous major building projects and made architectural history once again in 1971 when he chaired the jury in the competition for the construction of Centre George Pompidou. His life’s work has earned him a significant place in the history of architecture.

New products by Jean Prouvé

In autumn 2022, Vitra is reissuing four designs by Jean Prouvé: Abat-Jour Conique, a conical lamp shade that Prouvé developed in 1947 for the wall lamp Potence, the two stools Tabouret N° 307 and Tabouret Métallique as well as the wall-mounted shelving unit Rayonnage Mural.

New colours of the Jean Prouvé Collection

The colours Prouvé developed for his furniture drew on various references – from his Blé Vert, which describes the colour of young green wheat, to Gris Vermeer, which alludes to the grey tones in the work of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Yet according to Prouvé, who believed in the ‘nature of a material’, only parts in danger of corroding should be painted, which is why he left wooden and aluminium elements in an untreated state whenever possible. However, beyond the practical benefit of rust protection, Prouvé was aware that he could use colours to instil his furniture designs with a certain aura.

Vitra is expanding the palette for Jean Prouvé’s furniture to include some of the original Prouvé colours: the existing options of deep black, Japanese red and Blanc Colombe will be joined by Gris Vermeer, Bleu Dynastie, Blé Vert and Bleu Marcoule, as well as the Métal Brut variant in unpainted steel.
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