Professor desk, 1952
In the early 1950s the Ateliers Jean Prouvé moved into the rapidly expanding market of univerity furnishings, where newly built lecture halls required furniture adapted to their configuration and size. In addition to the rows of seats needed for the students, special large-dimension rostrums were designed for lecturers. The curved lecturer’s desks produced in 1952 for the Aix-Marseille and Lille universities—probably the only ones to have been made1—used the principle of the existing desk frames, but were scaled up according to class-room sizes. The bent steel frame comprised a large, curved beam to which were fixed, perpendicularly, two semi-portal frames linked to it by crosspieces. It supported a large, curved, laminated wood top. The plywood facade was attached to a metal frame welded to the front base. The tips of the legs were protected by stainless steel shoes. The three lecture halls at the Faculté des lettres in Lille were equipped with these sizeable desks.
1. Similar desks were offered for the lecture hall at the Centre National d’Éducation Physique (CNEP) in Joinville. There was also a much smaller model of the same shape.