Jean Prouvé # Les Maisons Tropicales – Tropical Houses

by Éric Touchaleaume (155 pp., Galerie 54, $90)

Exquisite spiral-bound catalogue of tropical houses by Jean Prouvé, published to coincide with an exhibition of the Large Brazzaville Tropical House presented by Galerie 54, on the Port des Champs Élysées, Paris, October 27 – December 21 2006. The tropical houses were Prouvé’s attempt to construct lightweight, pre-fab, durable structures for France’s African colonies. Only three prototypes were ever assembled, one in Niamey (Niger) in 1949 and two in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) in 1951. This publication compiles an impressive amount of archival material as well as current documentation of the restoration and installation of the house on the banks of the Seine. Includes a DVD featuring a computer rendering of the construction of a tropical house, bolt by bolt.

(by mds)