Stool no. 307, 1951
The swiveling workshop stool for which Jean Prouvé created the prototype in 1947, was fitted with a “tractor seat” upholstered with cloth or leather.1 Used again in 1950 for a new model of lecture hall chair, this curved-seat concept led to mass production of pressed aluminum seats. The idea of using these light, comfortable seats for other programs instigated production in 1951 of ten stool prototypes, one of them with a base of striated, bent, pressed aluminum. As tests with three-legged models revealed certain shortcomings, a stool with four wood-tipped tube legs was developed and marketed as no. 307. Most of those sold had a “rouge corsaire” (blood red) lacquered seat and black legs, although there were variants combining a black or blue lacquered seat with a black or white base. In some cases there was probably leather upholstery, as indicated by the perforations visible on certain seats. The aluminum was also available in an “aluminized”2 finish. The Architecte no. 309 stool first marketed in 1953 was a tall (75 cm) model, with the same kind of swivel seat on a tubing base that included a footrest.
1. See L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui, no. 11, 1947, p. 111: “Tabouret d’atelier pivotant selle métal garnie cuir”.
2. Developed in 1933, aluminizing was a process for protecting and coloring aluminum.