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Vitra Compas Direction Desk in Natural Oak & Japanese Red by Jean Prouvé For Sale
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Vitra Compas Direction Desk in Natural Oak & Japanese Red by Jean Prouvé

About

These items are currently only available in the United States. The slender, elegantly splayed metal legs of the Compas Direction desk by Jean Prouvé call to mind the hinged arms of a compass – ‘le compas’ in French. Their design is based on engineering principles that typify the structural approach of the French designer and engineer. Paired with the oiled solid wood table tops, they form a richly contrasting mix of materials in the home office. Natural oak70/base06.

Additional Options

Because our product is hand-made in Switzerland, additional colors, finishes and sizes are available with an added production lead-time. Please inquire for more information about the variations we offer.

Details

  • Materials and Techniques
    Powder-CoatedSteel,OiledOak
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 28.75 in. x W 49.22 in. x D 23.63 in.H 73 cm x W 125 cm x D 60 cm
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Seller Reference Number
    21202700
  • Reference Number
    LU3989112325471
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    This item can be returned within 14 days of delivery.

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About Jean Prouvé (Designer)

Engineer and metalsmith, self-taught designer and architect, manufacturer and teacher, Jean Prouvé was a key force in the evolution of 20th-century French design, introducing a style that combined economy of means and stylistic chic. Along with his frequent client and collaborator Le Corbusier and others, Prouvé, using his practical skills and his understanding of industrial materials, steered French modernism onto a path that fostered principled, democratic approaches to architecture and design.

     Prouvé was born in Nancy, a city with a deep association with the decorative arts. (It is home, for example, to the famed Daum crystal manufactory.) His father, Victor Prouvé, was a ceramist and a friend and co-worker of such stars of the Art Nouveau era as glass artist Émile Gallé and furniture maker Louis Majorelle. Jean Prouvé apprenticed to a blacksmith, studied engineering, and produced ironwork for such greats of French modernism as the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. In 1931, he opened the firm Atelier Prouvé. There, he perfected techniques in folded metal that resulted in his “Standard” chair (1934) and other designs aimed at institutions such as schools and hospitals.

     During World War II, Prouvé was a member of the French Resistance, and his first post-war efforts were devoted to designing metal pre-fab housing for those left homeless by the conflict. In the 1950s, Prouvé would unite with Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret (Le Corbusier’s cousin) on numerous design projects. In 1952, he and Perriand and artist Sonia Delaunay created pieces for the Cité Internationale Universitaire foundation in Paris, which included the colorful, segmented bookshelves that are likely Prouvé’s and Perriand’s best-known designs. The pair also collaborated on 1954’s “Antony” line of furniture, which again, like the works on these pages, demonstrated a facility for combining material strength with lightness of form.

     Prouvé spent his latter decades mostly as a teacher. His work has recently won new appreciation: in 2008 the hotelier Andre Balazs purchased at auction (hammer price: just under $5 million) the Maison Tropicale, a 1951 architectural prototype house that could be shipped flat-packed, and was meant for use by Air France employees in the Congo. Other current Prouvé collectors include Brad Pitt, Larry Gagosian, Martha Stewart, and the fashion designer Marc Jacobs. The rediscovery of Jean Prouvé — given not only the aesthetic and practical power of his designs, but also the social conscience his work represents — marks one of the signal “good” aspects of collecting vintage 20th century design. An appreciation of Jean Prouvé is an appreciation of human decency.

About The Maker

Creating innovative products and concepts with great designers is Vitra’s essence. They are developed in Switzerland and installed worldwide by architects, companies and private users to build inspirational spaces for living, working and shopping as well as public areas. With its classics Vitra represents groundbreaking 20th century design. Today, in combining technical and conceptual expertise with the creativity of contemporary designers, Vitra seeks to continue pushing the boundaries of the design discipline. A family business for eighty years, Vitra believes in lasting relationships with customers, employees and designers, durable products, sustainable growth and the power of good design. The Vitra Campus with buildings by some of the world’s leading architects and the Vitra Design Museum with its exhibitions on design and architecture, design archives and a comprehensive furniture collection are all part of Vitra. They inspire visitors, inform the design process and create an atmosphere in which innovation flourishes.

About the Seller

3 / 5
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2018
Typical response time: 10 hours
Located in New York, NY
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