Jean Prouvé & Atelier d’architecture LWD
(Lagneau, Weill & Dimitrijevic)
This sole prototype with metal frame was built by Constructions Jean Prouvé and the Travaux d’Afrique firm.
Designed on a module principle with 8,75 x 8,75 m as the centre-to-centre distance of bearing posts, it is composed of two modules.
It is the fruit of collaboration between Jean Prouvé, consulting engineer, and the Atelier d’architecture LWD (Lagneau, Weill & Dimitrijevic) and reflects their research into industrial habitat for tropical countries, in particular Equatorial Africa, with its hot and humid climate.
Unlike the Maisons Tropicales by Jean Prouvé (1949-1950), the process developed here did not aim at complete industrialization of construction, but at the series production of a set of standard components, easy to assemble by local labour.
These prefab components were:
– roof frame and load-bearing posts in steel, plus roof trays, initially made by Les Constructions Jean Prouvé, and later, for the series models, in Cameroun by the Alucam plant at Edea, a subsidiary of Péchiney-Aluminium Français ;
– façade panels in sheet aluminium, initially made in France by the Velam company, and later for the series models, in Cameroun ;
– lateral uprights in timber to frame the aluminium façade panels, made by André Chetaille, a master cabinetmaker, joiner and carpenter who also worked for Charlotte Perriand.
The concrete mats, gable walls and façade walls in cement blocks were built by local labour.