Jean Prouvé began to design portable and demountable barracks for the French army during the Second World War. After the war, the French government commissioned Prouvé to design inexpensive, effective housing for the newly homeless, prompting him to perfect his patented axial portal frame to build easily constructed demountable houses. Few of these groundbreaking structures were built, making them exceedingly rare today–prompting Galerie Patrick Seguin’s tireless efforts over the past 27 years to preserve and promote these important designs. The gallery owns the largest collection of Prouvé’s demountables, 22 in total.
The second in Galerie Patrick Seguin’s series of boxed sets on Prouvé’s demountable architecture, Jean Prouvé Architecture: 5 Volume Box Set No. 2 compiles five further volumes of research on these structures: monographs on the Metropole Demountable House, the 6 x 6 Demountable House (adapted by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners), the Villejuif Temporary School, the 4 x 4 Military Shelter and the Les Jours Meilleurs Demountable House. Each monograph (available individually or as part of this limited-edition box set) focuses on a single building, and is luxuriously illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs.
Though lacking any formal education in architecture, Jean Prouvé (1901–84) became one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, boldly experimenting with new building designs, materials and methods. “His postwar work has left its mark everywhere,” wrote Le Courbusier, “decisively.”