Claude Prouvé’s recently demolished Experimental Building of SIRH

Prior to destruction © Nicolas Waltefaugle Photographe

Mid-March brought the destruction of an important 1970s building that symbolized the experimental nature of industrialized housing that became popular after World War II as an effort to meet the economic demands of reconstruction. Known as the “experimental building of SIRH”, the eight storey abandoned structure was created by sixty prefabricated modules that served as a prototype for the SIRH Process – a construction process that experimented with the idea of prefabricating flexible standard living cells that could be easily assembled on site in a unlimited amount of configurations to provide for affordable individual or collective dwellings. This process was designed by French architect – son of the illustrious French architect, designer and metal worker , who is widely known for successfully and beautifully transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture.

The experimental building of SIRH, along with many other 1960s and 1970s structures, remains largely under-explored. Due to a spontaneous mobilization of architects, students and researchers in January 2012, the SIRH building has been documented and photographed in detail before it was demolished in March. Starting Thursday, June 7th, the Maison de l’architecture Lorraine will be hosting a fascinating exhibition that will display this documentation and explore the innovative process and prototypes of Claude Prouvé.

Continue reading after the break to learn more!