Cultured Magazine

December 2011

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Jean prouvé& Jean nouvel ferembal house Last year Galerie Patrick Seguin presented Jean Prouvé's Ferembal House in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, and this fall saw the release of a new book, Jean Prouvé & Jean Nouvel: Ferembal House, documenting the fantastic adaptation of the house by Jean Nouvel. Here we talk to Patrick Seguin about the new book—an excerpt of which we present here.—Tali Jaffe Why did you turn to Jean Nouvel for the adaptation of the Ferembal building? Jean Nouvel is a friend with whom I had already worked. He designed my office and the gallery, which he refurbished in 2003. I admire the man and his work. Do you find any commonality between the two designers? Certainly. Jean Nouvel takes into consideration the human aspect in his work, like Jean Prouvé . They both are interested in working on all sorts of scales. They create houses, buildings and they design furniture. What was the process of the Ferembal project like? Ferembal was a two-story building. One month was needed to build the masonry at ground-level, which was not designed by Jean Prouvé: it took 10 days to assemble the house. And that was contrary to the no- madism concept of Jean Prouvé. Jean Nouvel has fully understood the problem and came very quickly with a very clever answer. There is a clear differentiation between Jean Nouvel's input and the work of Jean Prouvé. It was an enriching experience for me to see the work of Jean Nouvel from "the inside" and to participate in the process. What was so different/significant about Prouvé's work when you first encountered it, and how did it become such a passionate collecting relationship? The essence of the work and of Jean Prouvé is an almost crude structural logic that's beautiful in its simplicity. The process of construction—or creating furniture—is part and parcel of his work. To him, there is no difference between making a piece of furniture and making a building. Do you have a favorite design piece or example of his architecture? The standard chair. Why do you think Prouvé described his work as "machines for living in"? What does that mean to you? Jean Prouvé was reluctant to have any break in the manufacturing process. Houses were manufactured in kits and ready to be inhabited. It was a utopian idea then, which seems to have today an ideological, social and political future. Is there a Prouvé of this generation? Although they have very different approaches, I could think of Martin Szekely and Marc Newson. 98 CULTURED

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