CPDE office chair, 1934
The competition launched in 1934 by the Paris electricity company, CPDE, for the equipping of its new headquarters gave Jean Prouvé the chance to create a set of office furniture that would lay the groundwork for his future work. Designed just after the initial plan for the chair no. 4, the office chair used the same basic composition: a profiled bent steel rear frame into which were fitted and welded the bent tubing of the front legs. Flattened tubing armrests girdled the rear frame and were welded to it. In the interests of solidity, arc welding was used throughout and the tubing of the legs was reinforced and stiffened by a metal brace with a profile designed to hold the seat. For comfort, the seat and backrest were padded and upholstered with leather. The Ateliers Jean Prouvé provided CPDE with several hundred of these chairs, doubtless sub-contracting out the production of most of them. Despite the publicity given this model in an advertising prospectus, there is no indication that any other series was produced. A few examples were made for offices and schools, notably the École Nationale Professionnelle in Metz, in 1936. After the War, this office chair was replaced by the Bridge, then the Direction models.