The brazzavile information bureau
The Brazzavile Information Bureau was officially inaugurated on December 3, 1951 by Mr Jean Dupin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aluminium Français, in the presence of Mr. Marcel Pubellier, director of Cégédar, Mr. Roger Voisard, director of Studal, and Jacques Piget, director of this African office. Other people present at this event included very high-level officials of the A.E.F. such as Mr. Berdier, principal private secretary of Mr. Chauvet, High Commissioner for the Republic; Mr. Mestre representing Governor Cédile; Mr. Cabou, director general for Economic Affairs, Mr. Puesch, director general of Customs, as well as most of the military authorities and executives from the industrial, commercial, and banking sectors.
As the reception was organized just before nightfall, some senior officials from the Belgian Congo could not attend due to the Congo River ferryboat schedules. For those who could not attend the first event, a second reception was organized on Wednesday, December 5 with some forty invited guests from all walks of life.
The inauguration of the new Aluminium Français Information Bureau was clearly a huge success. Visitors were surprised by the clean, simple aspect of the offices which contrasted with the more cozy aspect of the living areas, obtained by carefully-selected furniture colors – fully metallic as well – by the nettings, curtains, lighting equipment all developed with local resources.
Most Brazzaville residents were already familiar with the Bureau de l’Aluminium Française, without however, knowing the exact function of this institution. The Bureau is ideally located for optimum visibility, half way between the Post Office and the Town Hall, near both the residential area and the commercial area. What is more, it has a rather unusual design in Brazzaville, which had no other prefabricated building. In addition, the publicity during the erection of the building had attracted many visitors to the construction site including even top civilian officials in the Federation.
© Archives Jean Prouvé - Centre Georges Pompidou MNAM/ CCI Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Paris.