Sarah Rich

PREFAB FRIDAY: Jean Prouve's Maison Tropicale For Sale!

by , 05/18/07

Jean Prouve, Maison Tropicale, Modern Prefab, prefabricated house, prefab home, prefab house, prefabrication

Next up on the auction block, the Maison Tropicale, a rare midcentury prefab by French designer, Jean Prouvé — one of only three ever built. Shipped all the way from its first home in Congo-Brazzaville, and immaculately restored in Paris, this lightweight steel and aluminum kit-of-parts structure and prefab archetype can be yours for the low, low price of $4 – $6 million! Do we have a bidder?


We mentioned the Maison Tropicale last year when it was exhibitioned by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art as part of a larger Prouvé show. Now the nomadic house will settle down in Queens, according to the New York Times, as the home of the highest bidder at the Christie’s June 5 auction.

“The Maison is plug-and-play: there was never any plumbing, and it is wired for electricity. It ships in six containers. Christie’s is compiling a short list of potential bidders with substantial properties in Mustique, Antigua, the Hamptons — name your playground — who might like a 59-foot-by-32-foot–by-16-foot-tall folly/outdoor sculpture/guesthouse/vintage metal toy to park on the lawn, with a designer label attached.”

With a multi-million dollar pricetag and a spotted past as a literal accessory to French Colonialism in the Congo, the Maison Tropicale is not your standard affordable kit-of-parts. But as an antique, it’s rich with history, and there’s no doubt it won’t be orphaned for long.

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8 Comments

  1. lili555 March 31, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Hi !
    For those who miss Jean Prouvé and his works… there is a brand-new book about him :

    http://www.patrickseguin.com/book/

    Enjoy those things we cannot buy :-) !!

  2. Karim July 8, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Hi , the guy who went in Africa and stole the house for few thousand dollars brought back three of them one which has been bought by an American collector who donated the house to the Pompidou museum, the second one is the one above and the last one is for himself… It would have been better resorting the houses in Africa and made a museum out of them in Africa, this national heritage robbery!

  3. janelle May 27, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    it’s open from 10a-5p daily through june 4. i went to see it today – it is quite lovely.

  4. John May 26, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I walked over to see the house yesterday, at about 5pm and it was open. Not sure on the hours, but I’m guessing it’ll be open every day until the June 5 auction. It’s well worth a visit. I was particularly impressed by the operable, cross-flow ventilation disks at the top and bottom of the wall panels, though the house as a whole is just great.

  5. Dave May 21, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Does anyone know what days it is open for viewing? Is it open on weekends?

  6. Jill Danyelle Jill Danyelle May 19, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    some more images here.

  7. greg.org May 18, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    the guy who’s selling it, who rescued all three from bullet-riddled oblivion, spent millions of dollars restoring them, sold one to a US collector who’s installing it at a museum, and who’s using the proceeds from this sale to finance a Prouve museum in the third building.

  8. rob in chicago May 18, 2007 at 10:16 am

    This is wrong… things like this belong in a museum or other public environment. Who’s with me?

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