1158
1158
Jean Prouvé
6X6 DEMOUNTABLE HOUSE
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
4,000,0008,000,000
LOT SOLD. 4,375,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
1158
Jean Prouvé
6X6 DEMOUNTABLE HOUSE
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
4,000,0008,000,000
LOT SOLD. 4,375,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

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Hong Kong

Jean Prouvé
1901 - 1984
6X6 DEMOUNTABLE HOUSE
metal, wood and glass
314.5 by 600 by 600 cm.   123¾ by 236¼ by 236¼ in.
Executed in 1944.
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Provenance

Maron, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris

Exhibited

Zurich, Fondation Luma, Jean Prouvé, Architecte des jours meilleurs, pp. 43-53 (another version)

Literature

Peter Sulzer Birkhäuser,Jean Prouvé, Oeuvre complète, Volume 3: 1944-1954,  Basel 2005, pp. 46-49 (another version)
Galerie Patrick Seguin, Jean Prouvé, Maison démontable 6x6, Paris 2013 (another version)
Galerie Patrick Seguin, Jean Prouvé, Paris 2017, Vol. 2, p. 92, 96-97, 126-133, 140 -146,  240-241, 261, 263, 310, illustrated
Galerie Patrick Seguin, Jean Prouvé, 6x6 Demountable House, Paris 2019, p. 8 and pp. 59-63, illustrated

Catalogue Note

"Jean Prouvé is, inseparably, architect and engineer. Or rather, architect and constructor, for everything he sets his hand to and designs immediately takes on elegant plastic form"
- Le Corbusier

Blurring the lines between architecture, design and art, Jean Prouvé was an influential 20th century designer, architect and engineer who played a significant role in the development of systems for mass production in the post-war Modernist period. Throughout his career, Prouvé explored the multi-faceted relationship between design, architecture and industry. At the beginning of his working life, Prouvé was a blacksmith’s apprentice with a fascination for metals which underpinned his work. Ingrained with the workshop spirit from a young age, this manifests in Prouvé oeuvre the defining principle that ingeniously combines form and function. Entirely self-taught, Prouvé began experimenting with architectural structures. In 1931 he founded ateliers Jean Prouvé which was a departure from the dominant Art Deco forms in favour of a more rational, stripped back aesthetic. Directed by his humanistic agenda and avant-garde spirit, Prouvé was a founding member of the Union des Artistes (U.A.M.), a group of important Modernist designers, disillusioned with the lavish tastes and elitism apparent in 1920s design. Prouvé frequently collaborated with other mid-century design greats such as Le Corbusier who observed that “Jean Prouvé embodies in a singularly harmonious way the ‘constructor’ not yet accepted by law but demanded by the era we live in. I mean by this that Jean Prouvé is, inseparably, architect and engineer. Or rather, architect and constructor, for everything he sets his hand to and designs immediately takes on elegant plastic form, offering brilliant solutions with regard to strength and manufacture. Not to speak of his character, among the finest there is. His post-war work has left its mark everywhere, decisively” (Le Corbusier, Paris, May 12, 1954).

Named for its 6 by 6 meter module, the structure of the Demountable House is expressed externally, exemplifying Prouvé’s belief in portability, simplicity, and practicality. Experimenting with demountable structures that were ahead of their time, Prouvé pioneered the use of lightweight folded steel in architecture as well as furniture. The architect combined his practical production line with readily available materials such as timber for the wall panels. Based on an axial frame, its simple structure was intended for easy and quick transportation. As a form of true architectural performance, the house was designed so it could be erected by two people in a single day; therefore the families who had lost their homes didn’t need to move while the structure was being built. The low-cost prefabricated houses were made entirely of wood and metal with a metal grid forming the floor structure while a central structural metal spine forms the backbone supporting the curtain wall of timber panels. As a result of the ongoing metal shortages during the war, the panels and floor of the houses were made with wood. Two large angled supporting columns are the only intrusion into the interior space, creating a hugely flexible interior. Assembled in a small village in a relatively remote area of Eastern France, the structures served as temporary homes for bombed out villagers and returning soldiers (most of Prouvé’s houses in the area only lasted a few months before rebuilding began). Very few of these houses remained in their completely original form due to their fragile structure with the present work being a rare survivor, existing in exceptional original condition. Beyond the elegance of its form, this house puts the genius of its creator on display and responds to a particular solution in an important historical context. Presented in its original state, the 6x6 Demountable House is one of Jean Prouvé’s manifest constructions.

Prefabrication had obvious and essential applications both in the run-up and during the Second World War. When hostilities began, Prouvé worked for the resistance, ensuring he was well placed to assist with the massive demand for housing after 1945. After the Liberation, Charles de Gaulle’s Minister of Reconstruction and Urban Development, Raoul Dautry, commissioned 800 of Prouvé’s Demountable Houses to regenerate the regions of Lorraine and Franche-Comté, confronting the country’s most pressing housing shortages. Although only 400 of the Demountable Houses were actually realised, the demand for easily-assembled, affordable habitation was paramount: Prouvé was one of the first to develop a solution for this, enabling him to put his designs to use. Prouvé’s Demountable Houses saw a sharp increase in attention in the 2010s. Without compromising on proportion or style, Prouvé’s 6x6 Demountable House epitomizes his ability to fuse art and industry.

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

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Hong Kong