During the years of 1941 and 1942, the Ateliers Jean Prouvé planned and executed a number of interior design projects for the Solvay chemical company
Numerous pieces of furniture were developed in connection with this commission, including a table made of wood that exemplifies Prouvé's construction methods: its structural details illustrate the interplay of forces and stresses similar to the later design of the EM Table, whose metal legs distinguish it from its predecessor.
Due to the scarcity of metal during World War II, the Solvay table was designed and constructed with wooden legs.The solid wood components and fine oiled finish of the Solvay table give it a sense of ease and refinement, mitigating the technical coolness of its design.
legs matched to table top, solid wood with oiled finish in natural oak, smoked oak or American walnut; tubular steel crossbar with powder-coated finish
thickness 34 mm, solid wood with oiled finish; natural oak, smoked oak or American walnut.
Jean Prouvé completed his training as a metal artisan before opening his own workshop in Nancy in 1924. In the following years he created numerous furniture designs, and in 1947 Prouvé established his own factory. Due to disagreements with the majority shareholders, he left the company in 1953. During the ensuing decades, Prouvé served as a consulting engineer on a number of important architectural projects in Paris.
He left his mark on architectural history again in 1971, when he played a major role in selecting the design of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers for the Centre Pompidou as chairman of the competition jury. Prouvé's work encompasses a wide range of objects, from a letter opener to door and window fittings, from lighting and furniture to façade elements and prefabricated houses, from modular building systems to large exhibition structures – essentially, almost anything that is suited to industrial production methods. In close cooperation with the Prouvé family, Vitra began in 2002 to issue re-editions of designs by this great French constructeur.