Maison 8×12 in Royan

It is with great deception that docomomo International informs that Maison 8×12 (1951), a housing prototype designed by Jean Prouvé in collaboration with his brother Henri Prouvé, has been sold and is expected to be displaced to an undetermined location.

Originally placed in Royan, it is an innovative architectural experiment with very high heritage significance. As a pioneer example of prefabrication and industrialisation of individual housing, it is made of a steel structure and aluminium panels for a rapid and economic assemblage.

It is part of a series of identic housing prototypes built to provide shelter to the underprivileged affected by the World War II. It has a unique local value, as it was the only placed on the seaside to test the use of aluminium panels in a maritime environment, which resistance was confirmed after withstanding the storm of 1999. Maison 8×12 is also the only prototype remaining in a 20th century urban context from the Modern Movement. The property used to be the architecture studio of Marc Quentin, one of the architects in charge of the reconstruction project for the city of Royan, severely damaged during the World War II.

Unfortunately, Maison 8×12 remains one of the prototypes not properly classified and currently faces the threat of displacement to an undetermined location, since the owner, Mr. Didier Quentin, Mayor of Royan (Charente-Maritime) and son of the architect Marc Quentin, sold the building but not the entire property. The displacement of such a relevant built heritage from its original location must be definitely reconsidered, as it would be a disrespect for the work of Jean Prouvé and a major loss to Royan, labelled as «City of Art and History».

docomomo International supports the initiative taken by its chapter docomomo France and the association Artichem to raise awareness on the preservation of Maison 8×12 in Royan and to encourage its nomination as historical monument.

More details: website + website + website

[by Docomomo France]