Jean Prouvé & Atelier d’architecture LWD
(Lagneau, Weill & Dimitrijevic).

Habitat tropical with standard timber frame, single module

Roof height from terrace 3,70 m, interior living space 60 m2, all in area with terrace surround 13,40 x 12,70 m = 170 m2 (possibility of varying width of terrace)


A number of changes have been made to this structure to simplify the assembly/dismantling required by new uses.

Originally, in-situ the four load-bearing steel uprights were bolted to concrete soles placed around the concrete mat that defined the interior living space.

These concrete foundations have been replaced by an all-steel demountable base frame composed of HEB girders set on steel jacks, simply laid on the ground, to which the frame is bolted.

The building is thus without buried foundations, but is perfectly stable and able to resist weather and even violent natural events thanks to the rigidity and size/weight ratio of its structure.

The spacious terrace that surrounds the living space has a parquet deck; the living space envelope is defined by openwork timber laths mounted horizontally.

A ramp of adjustable height, also made of HEB girders with timber deck, gives access to the terrace.

The two gable ends of the house, which formerly had no openings, have been fitted with fixed side panels that frame a double sliding door mounted on rails, the whole sheathed in broad tropical hardwood boards.

All timber parts use tropical hardwoods from Cameroun, which are highly resistant to borers and fire risk.

To give the interior a higher ceiling, the dropped ceiling in wavy aluminium (known as ‘Ondulite’) used in the original design has not been re-mounted.

Any natural ventilation/cooling thus lost has been compensated by installing two thicknesses of roof trays, which sandwich top-performing insulation.
This change is of course only apparent to the historian.



Some 30% of the original timber frame components – deteriorated by borers and damp creep – have been replaced. The entire frame has now been proofed against insect pests, and brushed and faded to harmonize with the overall colours. Within a few months the blond aspect of new timber components will take on a fine greyish patina.

The four corner posts have been reinforced with an interior sleeve and repainted navy blue according to the model.

The two gable walls, formerly made of cement blocks on this example, have been rebuilt going on a model observed in Cameroun, a variant with timber gables, too far gone to be salvaged.

Complementary fit-outs per quote

Should the purchaser so wish, it would be possible to re-mount the dropped ceiling in Ondulite to ensure better proofing of the interior living space.

In this case, it would also be desirable to sheathe the two roof truss ends in plywood boxes with a sky blue lacquer finish, as can be seen on some old photos. In situ some of these houses did not have this sheathing on truss ends, in order to optimize ventilation.

Using the house in a temperate climate would also require other fit-outs, such as the lining of all walls by opaque or glazed sliding panels.


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