Prefab Now- the Tropical House Reconstructed
We have covered Jean Prouve and the Tropical House at Treehugger before. The French engineer developed brilliant prefabricated designs, including the tropical house from 1946, which could be transported in a single WW2 vintage airplane. No piece weighed more than 100Kg, and could be handled by two men. Now,rescued by Robert Rubin, the Tropical House has been reconstructed at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and is open for view at the Prefab Now Conference in October.
Although centered around the Tropical House, the Dwell Magazine sponsored conference has speakers from throughout the prefab industry (Full Disclosure: Speakers include the Author). Speakers include:
An introduction by Allison Arieff, Editor-in-Chief, Dwell, co-author of Prefab; Robert Rubin on Jean Prouvé: A Tropical House; Alastair Gordon on the Leisurama Homes; Jay Baldwin on R. Buckminster Fuller; Michelle Kaufmann on the Glidehouse and Sunset Breezehouse; Charlie Lazor on the Flatpak house; Leo Marmol on desert prefab; Lloyd Alter on prefab manufacturing; Jennifer Siegal on mobile design; Wes Jones on shipping container architecture; and Joseph Tanney on the Dwell House.
Why is this of interest to Treehuggers? Jean Prouve always was looking for ways to do more with less, to make buildings and furniture more affordable, more effective with less material. Here is a house that can fit in an old small airplane and yet be so elegant and beautiful as to belie any notion that buildings that are efficient and prefab have to be architecturally pedestrian.