SCAL bed, 1940
The principle of a bed with a single, closed tube steel frame welded to four tube legs with protective disks is to be found in various Ateliers Jean Prouvé designs from 1935 onwards.1 It can be found in 1938 in an equipment proposal for the Saint-Brévin-l’Océan vacation spot. Early in the War the Ateliers Jean Prouvé provided beds with bent metal frames and tube bases for the staff dormitories at the SCAL plant in Issoire, whence the later name. The designing and marketing of the SCAL LS 11 bed date from the immediate postwar period, initially aimed at the public sector, then at private buyers. The frame with the metal slat mattress base is made of closed section, bent steel side members reinforced with a section bar, onto which are welded four tubular legs 27 mm in diameter with protective disks. It can be fitted with solid wood panels directly mounted on the frame with metal plates and threaded rod, as in the double version LS 21, brought out in 1946, whose head can be fitted with fixed shelves. In the early 1950s the modifications the model underwent were of the same kind as for the Flavigny bed: they related to the size of the frame (available in 1951 in 3 widths: 80, 90, and 140 cm—respectively no. 450 or 451, 452, 458), and the simplification of the profile of the side members. The contours of the wood panels were softened and in 1953 the diameter of the tubular legs, protected by thick wooden tips, was increased to 50 mm. A swivel table— its solid wood triangular top designed by Charlotte Perriand—could be attached to a metal arm which could itself be folded away under the frame. From 1953 on, the SCAL bed was the only bed produced by the Ateliers Jean Prouvé. Distributed by the Steph Simon gallery, it was available in two widths—80 and 140 cm— and two versions: with or without wood panels. The foldaway table was optional and the slats of the base were replaced by equalizing springs. These models were proposed in the 1955 competition for equipping the Cité Universitaire in Antony. The Ateliers Jean Prouvé were attributed the furnishing of 150 single accommodations units, for which the single version with the swiveling table was used. From 1956 on, Steph Simon distributed the SCAL bed,2 with another metal mattress base (Zedal) in two sizes3 and in a single color (black) until the late 1960s.
1. These designs seem not to have gone into production. Sketch by Jean Prouvé, 1935, reproduced in Sulzer, vol. 1, no. 539.
2. After 1956, the name Flavigny was wrongly applied to a variant of the SCAL bed with wooden panels, on Steph Simon presentation sheets (“Les lits Jean Prouvé. Édition Steph Simon”, ca. 1960).
3. The double version was used for the Sahara house at the Salon des arts ménagers in Paris in 1958.