'Simple', by Jean Nouvel. Photography: Courtesy of Revolution Precrafted Properties

Jean Nouvel has erected a ‘collectible’ prefab home in the midst of Paris’ Tuileries Garden for FIAC art fair.

The architect’s limited-edition design – named the ‘Simple’ house – took two days to build. It sits close to a cluster of pavilions and demountable structures by the likes of Ron Arad and Jean Prouvé, installed in the garden.

‘Simple is a mobile home that stays still,’ says Nouvel. ‘Only its inner walls are moveable.’

Simple by Jean Nouvel
Simple, by Jean Nouvel. Photography: Courtesy of Revolution Precrafted Properties

The structure – which will remain in situ until 28 October – comprises an exterior ‘jacket’ of lightweight aluminium panels over a thermally efficient interior lining of insulating foam and wood. It is the latest commission from Revolution Precrafted Properties, which specialises in limited-edition prefab homes and pavilions.

Simple, by Jean Nouvel
Simple, by Jean Nouvel. Photography: Courtesy of Revolution Precrafted Properties

‘What we propose here is the most immediate way to inhabit a space, within a short timeframe, in places that are not designed for residential use,’ adds Nouvel. ‘All of the essential notions relating to housing must be condensed into a single object that can be built very quickly and inhabited by one, two, three or four people.’

Simple comes in four sizes ranging from 40 sq m for a one-bedroom shelter to 160 sq m for a four bed. The house – price available on application – has reconfigurable walls and sliding exterior windows that allow the collector to define the space.

Simple, by Jean Nouvel
Simple, by Jean Nouvel. Photography: Courtesy of Revolution Precrafted Properties

It’s not the first time Nouvel has ventured into the world of prefab. He adapted Jean Prouvé’s 1948 Ferembal House for FIAC in 2010 and has consulted on setting up the architect’s 1949 Bouqueval School for this year’s edition, also assembled in the Tuileries Garden. Both are collaborations with gallerist and Prouvé bastion, Patrick Seguin.

Nouvel didn’t look to Prouvé for inspiration for the Simple house, however. ‘We cannot redo Jean Prouvé today,’ he says. ‘The DNA of this house is more Japanese than European. The sliding doors are at the origin of its flexibility… All the technical elements – kitchen, bathroom – are ‘clipped on’ to the perimetre.’

Rounding off the prefab pack in Paris is Ron Arad’s Armadillo Tea Pavilion – another Revolution Precrafted commission – which will be sold via Auctionata as part of the Post-War & Contemporary Art auction curated by Paddle8.

The structures are also joined in the Tuileries Garden by ‘A Lighthouse for Lampedusa’, conceived by artist Thomas Kilpper, as well a series of installations by the likes of Ugo Rondinone, Joe Bradley, Alexander Calder, Gloria Friedmann.

Read next: Why pavilions are the new collector’s items

Commissioning editor at The Spaces.

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