The prototype house, designed by the French architect Jean Prouve (1901- 1984), for 1950s colonial West Africa, will be erected outside Tate Modern. Prouve House for Design Museum at Tate Modern is an extension of the Design Museum's current exhibition and the house demonstrates the full scale and vision of Prouve's economy of design.
Visitors can walk around this 'flat pack' house which was originally erected in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, in 1951. In 2000 the house was found in Brazzaville, in a dilapidated state and riddled with bullet holes. The house was dismantled, returned to France and restored.
Jean Prouv designed and manufactured three prototype Maisons Tropicales for West Africa between 1949 and 1951. The Brazzaville house is made from folded sheet steel and aluminium. For ease of transport all the parts were flat, lightweight and could be neatly packed into a cargo plane.
The Maisons Tropicales were designed to address the shortage of housing and civic buildings in France's African colonies. Prouve aimed to design for the demands of the climate and included a veranda with an adjustable aluminium sun-screen. The inner walls are made of fixed and sliding metal panels with blue glass portholes to protect against UV rays. A double roof structure was designed to produce natural ventilation.
This event is related to Jean Prouve: The Poetics of the Technical Object