The restoration of Jean Prouvé’s
In 1991, the Parisian design gallerist Patrick Seguin – the man who really put the heat in the market for Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand – went to see a discarded Prouvé treasure. The Ferembal House had been built as the offices for a can factory in Nancy in 1948. The factory was demolished 30 years later and the Prouvé pre fab nearly ended up in the dumpster. Luckily, a local who understood what could be lost, packed it away until Seguin came to investigate and took it off his hands. It took him another 10 years to stockpile the funds to renovate the house and another nine – working with Prouvé experts in Nancy, the designer-engineer-architect’s town, and Seguin’s long-term pal, the architect Jean Nouvel – to actually complete the renovation.
The remarkable story of the rescue and Nouvel’s work on the project as well as exclusive first pictures of the Ferembal House appear in our July issue. Seguin estimates that the building – all one storey and 180 square metres of it – is now worth €8m. But as our story and this video shows, the restored Ferembal House is important not because of its price tag but because it is more evidence of the genius in Prouvé’s radical utilitarian design.