Sneak Preview: Prouvé Prefab Rises Again


This iconic house, which is an architectural and treehugger favourite, was originally erected in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in 1951. Designed by the architect Jean Prouvé to serve as a model for flatpack houses in that city, it was found in a dilapidated state, riddled with bullet holes. The building was taken to France by Eric Touchaleaume, an antique dealer, and later sold to New York hotelier André Balazs for $5M.

Its appearance on the banks of the Thames was due to a chance meeting of Balazs, who was visiting the Prouvé show at the Design Museum, and its director. Balazs offered the loan of the house, then the head of the Tate Modern said sure, put it in front of my museum. That's how things happen in the art world. A team of 11 french experts is re-assembling the three-bedroom, 46-ton steel and aluminum house. The Tate is expecting 2 million people to pay to walk through it over a nine week period. :: Design Museum