Cité armchair, 1930
The easy chair created in 1930 for the new university dormitory in Nancy was the first small-series model to come out of the Ateliers Jean Prouvé. This model drew on Prouvé’s designs and prototypes for the mechanically complex, adjustable easy chairs that were being individually made at the same time. Using the profile of the Grand Repos armchair, it met the requirements of a different market for “reading” chairs combining economy, solidity and easy maintenance. The new metal easy chair was a pressed-steel structure with open U-shaped legs linked by crosspieces. To this was attached a tubing frame bearing a stretched fabric seat, with screws for adjustment of the fabric’s tension. The cloth strips forming the armrests were attached to the frame with metal tabs. This university easy chair was also marketed by the Ateliers Jean Prouvé for sanatoriums, with a presentation document stressing its comfort, lightness and hygiene. The main variations involved the armrests and the spring-loaded adjustment of the fabric seat: the former were buckled leather straps running the entire circumference of the metal leg structure, whose vertical front section was sheathed. Some sixty examples were made for students’ rooms. The easy chair appears on the 1934 price list
as no. 500, but seems to have found only a very limited market. A new, five-position model for sanatoriums was designed in 1937, but like a tilting easy chair of which two examples were made in 1945, did not go beyond the prototype stage. Real volume production of relaxation models began after the War, with the Visiteur armchair.