Prouvé Collection Update
by Vitra


Product news: Swiss furniture brand Vitra has put its latest range of updates and reissues from the archive of French designer Jean Prouvé into production (+ slideshow).

The production pieces follow a limited collection of reproductions that the brand first presented in 2011 as a collaboration with fashion brand G-Star Raw.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Standard SP chair

Newly available pieces include reissues of the Fauteuil Direction and Fauteuil de Salon armchairs, plus Tabouret Solvay stool. There are also updated materials and finishes to the Standard chair, EM Table and Compas Direction developed with Dutch designer Hella Jongerius and Jean Prouvé's family.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Standard SP chair

The Standard chair was originally designed in wood with thicker back legs, as these take more weight. Vitra is now producing the design with a plastic seat and back as a model named Standard SP, which has matte powder-coated metal legs.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
EM Table and Standard SP chairs

The plastic elements can be mixed and matched in various colours, and can easily be replaced.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
EM Table

Now available with a solid wood top instead of veneered surfaces, a version of Prouvé's EM Table has been created with a powder-coated base to match the Standard SP chairs.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Table Solvay

Among Prouvé's designs for chemical company Solvay, Table Solvay looks similar to the EM Table but was created with wooden legs due to the metal shortage in the Second World War. This design now can now be obtained in three different types of solid wood.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Compas Direction

The metal legs of the Compas Direction desk are designed to look like the arms of a drawing compass and this design now also comes with a solid wood top.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Fauteuil de Salon

Archive designs that have been put into production include the Fauteuil Direction and Fauteuil de Salon cushioned armchairs, plus the Tabouret Solvay solid wood stool.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Tabouret Solvay stool

All these additions were shown as prototypes in Milan this spring and are now available to order from Vitra.

Recent furniture designs we've featured include shelves that stay propped up with the help of random found objects and brightly coloured lounge chairs that tessellate into an endless array of shapes and patterns.

We spoke to Erwan Bouroullec at the Vitra showroom in London during this year's Clerkenwell Design week - watch the interview here.

See more furniture design »
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Here's some extra information from Vitra:

Prouvé Collection Update, developed by Vitra in Switzerland

In the fields of design, architecture and the art of engineering, the Frenchman Jean Prouvé ranks among the most versatile and innovative minds of the 20th century. From letter openers to door and window hinges, lights, furniture, façade elements, prefabricated houses, modular construction systems to large trade fair and exhibition constructions, his work includes almost everything that can be designed and requires an industrial manufacturing method. In his work as a designer, Prouvé was never searching for his own signature, but was instead striving to create logical and useful answers to required functions.

Vitra has been producing Jean Prouvé's furniture since 2001. In cooperation with the Prouvé family and the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, the colour palette of the entire product family has been given a makeover. Reserved but contemporary shades give the Prouvé classics a fresh new image. “My father never used primary colours, but preferred a sophisticated palette of shades. Of course – he was the son of a painter!” - Catherine Prouvé.

Prouvé tables are now available with solid wood table tops and the Table Solvay is the realisation of one of Prouvé's table designs with a wooden base.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Standard chair

Standard SP, 1934/1950

A chair is subjected to the most strain on its back legs as it must carry the weight of the upper body. Jean Prouvé's concise interpretation of this simple recognition can be seen in the Standard chair: whereas tubular steel is sufficient for the front legs that are subjected to less strain, the chair's back legs form a voluminous hollow body that transfers the strain to the floor.

Standard SP (Siège en Plastique) brings the iconic chair up-to-date without changing anything about its form: A seat and backrest of robust plastic in a carefully chosen colour palette gives Standard SP a contemporary look. The plastic parts can be combined in various colours and easily switched out or replaced. To match the plastic surface, the bases feature a resistant, matt powder coating and, last but not least, Standard SP is an economic alternative.

To match the Standard SP, a new version of Jean Prouvé's EM Table is being launched with an HPL table top and a base that is in the same structure and colour of powder coating as the chair.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Table Solvay

Table Solvay, 1941

During the years of 1941 and 1942, Jean Prouvé’s studios planned and realised various interior design projects for the chemical company Solvay. Among his many designs of this time, there was also a wooden table that is a prime example of Prouvé's creations: The necessities of statics and the force path are clearly reflected in his design details – similar to the later EM Table that differs from the Table Solvay due to its metal table legs. When the Table Solvay was created during World War II, there was a metal shortage and so the table legs were made of wood.

Table Solvay’s table top is available in three different kinds of wood and the base is made of the same wood. The solid oiled woods give Table Solvay a high-quality homely feel and compensate for its cool design.

The round table Guéridon has also been given a makeover: the legs, materials and surfaces are the same are those of Table Solvay, but it has an extended diameter and height.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
EM Table

EM Table, 1950

At the beginning of the 1950s, Jean Prouvé developed the EM Table for the "Maison-Tropique" project. The table , defined by his design right down to the very last detail, follows Prouvé's typical aesthetics of necessity. It illustrates the force path and the static connections in a way that is otherwise only featured in engineering construction.

EM Table is now of even higher quality thanks to its new table tops in oiled solid wood. The solid wood table tops in oak or walnut give the table an exclusive note and offer a very pleasant feel. The height of the base is adjusted to contemporary requirements and the colour concept has been revised.

The EM Table can be ideally combined with Prouvé’s Standard chairs, but also with various other chairs.
Another new design is the EM Table with HPL table top and a base that is powdercoated in the same colours and structure as the base of the Standard SP chair.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Compas Direction

Compas Direction, 1953

Jean Prouvé developed the Compas Table in various models around 1950, applying the construction principles that he is known for. All share elegantly splayed, narrow legs in metal, a formal reminder of a compass – in French, "le compas".

The oiled solid wood table tops give Compas Direction an individual touch. With its compact dimensions, the table is ideal for the contemporary, largely paperless, home office, where it cuts a fine figure, particularly in combination with the Fauteuil

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Fauteuil Direction chair and Compas Direction table

Fauteuil Direction, 1951

Fauteuil Direction is a well designed chair in which you can sit comfortably at the table. It pays homage to Prouvé's typical philosophy of focusing on design factors.

The little chair is perfect for the home office where, particularly in combination with the small desk Compas Direction, it creates an individual touch and can also be used as a comfortable dining chair. In addition, Fauteuil Direction also looks great in elegant lobbies, restaurants or waiting areas.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Fauteuil de Salon chair

Fauteuil de Salon, 1939

Fauteuil de Salon combines plain surfaces into a complete architectural form with a comfortable seat and backrest. Rediscovered in the archives of the French design engineer, the chair’s colour was adapted for modern tastes. Thanks to the armrests in oiled solid wood and Prouvé's typical philosophy of focusing on design factors, Fauteuil de Salon goes perfectly with other products in the reworked Prouvé Collection.

Prouvé Collection Update by Vitra
Tabouret Solvay stools

Tabouret Solvay, 1941

Tabouret Solvay is a simple, robust stool made of solid wood with a signature design that is visible at first glance: Jean Prouvé developed it, applying the design principles that he is known for. Thanks to its level seat, Tabouret Solvay can also be used as an occasional table.

  • Chris

    I’m an absolute Prouvé fan, but Vitra is so boring.

    • Duh

      What is your point? They are building Prouve furniture according to the original designs. Makes your comment rather boring?

  • Henk

    Dancing on the grave.

  • Alain

    Hey Chris and Henk,

    You must be joking I hope… Vitra is an amazing company. A few years ago while the crisis was affecting the industry, Vitra lost 30% of their turnover and instead of going on holiday and waiting out the end of the storm, they gave us an amazing and positive message. Invest in the future.

    They built the terrific Vitra Haus with H&D, and they produced new wonderful products. I would be careful to judge such of great company, where hundreds of passionate people are always trying to give their best for their customers.

    • Henk

      Vitra IS a great company, but I’m sure they survived the crisis not on innovation, but on their (more or less) exclusive rights to certain classics, the ones above included.

      Giving them a new colour scheme is nice, but in Milan this year it seemed to be one of the major novelties so don’t tell me they innovated their way out of a crisis. They are a very “safe” company. And where is that “invest in the future” marketing slogan coming from? So random.

      • Aaron

        I absolutely couldn’t disagree more. With Antonio Citterio’s ID chair and designs by Konstantin Grcic as well as BarberOsgerby they are totally on spot with contemporary furniture design. If being boring means hiring the most innovative contemporary designers to build products customers actually WANT instead of being over the top experimental then yes, Vitra is boring and we should all be thankful for that.

        BTW: Hella Jongerius is doing an amazing job unifying Vitra’s colour palette.

  • I am a Vitra fan myself, but Prouve is exciting and unique. Great post!

  • Polyportypik

    If only Vitra could reissue Jean Prouvé’s Fauteuil Visiteur.