JEAN PROUVÉ

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Total Filling Station, 1969



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In 1969 energy provider Total began implementing a mass-production policy for its gas stations: the big ones on France’s freeways and the smaller roadside units. For this the company called in Jean Prouvé, who had already amply demonstrated his skills in the field of prefabrication.
The buildings used a radiating central-plan structure of galvanized steel sheet, with a central cylinder and perimeter poles. The facade comprised thirteen polyester and glass panels. The diversity of building plots led to a choice of near-cylindrical buildings on one or two levels, with or without accommodation.
As a manifesto for prefabricated architecture, this structure—light and rapidly, easily assembled—was rebuilt as a demonstration piece outside the architecture school in Nancy in 2000.