The world of prefab and modular homes.

Maison Tropicale

Status: prototype
Designer: Jean Prouvé
Image for Maison Tropicale
© Sara Goldsmith from

Jean Prouvé's three prototype Maison Tropicales for West Africa were prototypes intended to bring forth a large series of mass-produced homes and civic buildings which, it was hoped, would address the housing and infrastructure shortage in France's substantial colonial territories in Africa. Because of Prouve's deep interest in prefabrication and prior work with lightweight metallic building systems, he was poised for the commission and ready to produce, as he liked to explain, "houses manufactured in plants like cars..."

The modular concept and the dramatic externalization of structure make these prototypes landmark exercises in modern architecture. Prouvé's pre-fabricated buildings also become fascinating for their flexibility and their nomadic lives.

Style: modern
Materials: Aluminum, Steel
Construction method: kit of parts

Additional images:

A view of the interior of the Maison Tropicale.
© Richard Winchell from
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