When the denim fashion house G-Star RAW decided to redo its headquarters in Amsterdam, it called on Rem Koolhaas of OMA to retool the interior. The commission led to a unique collaboration between the architecture firm, the client and Vitra. To furnish the HQ’s new office space, the Swiss manufacturer was invited to re-introduce some of Jean Prouvé’s most recognizable office furniture pieces.
Since then, Vitra has kept the line in production as a 10-piece limited-edition collection, which has toured to showrooms in New York and Los Angeles. On February 26, the Prouvé RAW Office Collection Exhibit lands at Vancouver’s Inform Contract showroom, where it will be displayed for a month.
Based on furniture that Prouvé originally designed over 70 years ago, the re-issued pieces stand up to the test of time. There is no missing the Mad Men look, with metal clad office desks and casual seating featuring thick seat pads and armrests. The pieces combine solid wood surfaces with sleek metal legs, visible steel framework, and a somber palette of black, green and creamy white.
Vitra has updated the line to accommodate the needs of a more modern office space, by increasing the heights of the tables and chairs, and adding invisible channels for computer cables.
While the collection was relaunched in 2014, Vitra plans to stop producing it by the end of this year. “My father would have appreciated the new energy this cooperation brings to his designs,” Prouve’s daughter Catherine Prouvé has said of the collection. “It gives new feeling to the collection, and that individual pieces are returning to the office – the place for which they were originally designed.”
The Prouvé RAW Office Collection Exhibit runs from Feburary 26 to March 31, 2016, at Inform Contract (405 Railway St) in Vancouver. It is open to the public by appointment.