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Jean Prouvé Compas Direction Desk in Wood and Metal by Vitra

$3,889.16Asking Priceper item


Desk designed by Jean Prouvé in 1953. Manufactured by Vitra, Switzerland. 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. Production delay: 8-9 weeks Important information regarding images of products: Please note that some of the images show other colors and variations of the model, these images are only to present interior design proposals. The item that is selling is on the first image. Important information regarding colour(s) of products: Actual colors may vary. This is due to the fact that every computer monitor, laptop, tablet and phone screen has a different capability to display colors and that everyone sees these colours differently. We try to edit our photos to show all of our products as life-like as possible, but please understand the actual color may vary slightly from your monitor. About the designer: Jean Prouvé completed his training as a metal artisan before opening his own workshop in Nancy in 1924. In the following years he created numerous furniture designs, and in 1947 Prouvé established his own factory. Due to disagreements with the majority shareholders, he left the company in 1953. During the ensuing decades, Prouvé served as a consulting engineer on a number of important architectural projects in Paris. He left his mark on architectural history again in 1971, when he played a major role in selecting the design of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers for the Centre Pompidou as chairman of the competition jury. Prouvé's work encompasses a wide range of objects, from a letter opener to door and window fittings, from lighting and furniture to façade elements and prefabricated houses, from modular building systems to large exhibition structures – essentially, almost anything that is suited to industrial production methods. In close cooperation with the Prouvé family, Vitra began in 2002 to issue re-editions of designs by this great French constructeur. About the manufacturer: Vitra founder Willi Fehlbaum first came across creations by Ray and Charles Eames in the early 1950s. This decisive moment marked Vitra’s beginnings as a design company. Vitra has collaborated with international designers and architects ever since. While the first generation laid the company’s commercial foundations, and the second added a cultural dimension through the development of the Vitra Campus and the Vitra Design Museum with its collection, the third generation puts the spotlight on sustainable thinking and action. Vitra’s origins as a design company lie in the chance discovery of a chair by Charles and Ray Eames in a New York window display. The spirit of innovation expressed by the couple’s creations represents a movement – modern design – and continues today to be the driving force behind the development, production and sale of furniture and accessories for people across the globe, for living, working and public use. Following in the tradition and spirit of Charles and Ray Eames, the sustainability of design is central to all activities at Vitra. The family-run company believes in the power of designs that forgo stylistic trends and eliminate superfluous details. The longevity of Vitra products is the combined result of their design, function and quality. Vitra products are designed and developed in Switzerland. The products are manufactured in Germany and other European countries with EU-sourced components, using materials that are strictly tested for quality and longevity.


  • Creator
    Jean Prouvé (Designer),Vitra (Manufacturer),
  • Dimensions
    Height: 28.75 in. (73 cm)Width: 49.22 in. (125 cm)Depth: 23.63 in. (60 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Production Type
    New & Custom(Current Production)
  • Estimated Production Time
    8-9 weeks
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    Barcelona, ES
  • Reference Number
    Seller: VI.COMPAS.11stDibs: LU1427223547812

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $1,621.48 Front Door Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 1-4 weeks, excluding production time.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: Barcelona, Spain
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Designer

Jean Prouvé

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 postwar 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 1stDibs, 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 Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in Barcelona, Spain
Platinum Seller
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Established in 2015
1stDibs seller since 2015
854 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 3 hours
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