French prefab house sold to hotelier


NEW YORK (AP) – Prototype Maison Tropicale, a prefabricated house of bent steel and aluminum sheets, was sold at auction to hotelier Andre Balazs for $4.9 million.

Balazs, who owns Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, The Mercer in New York and The Raleigh in Miami, placed the winning bid of $4,968,000 for the small 1951 house at an evening sale Tuesday at Christie’s auction.
The house had been brought to New York City in mid-May, reassembled and displayed near the Queensboro Bridge.

One of only three ever created by the French designer, the industrially produced Maison Tropicale was designed and manufactured for Brazzaville, West Africa. Christie’s described it as ‘one of the most striking and sophisticated of all his architectural achievements and is exemplary of his oeuvre.’

Its last owner, Eric Touchaleaume, a French antiques dealer, has said he plans to use the sale proceeds to finance a Prouve museum that will travel inside another Maison Tropicale.

The final price includes Christie’s commission.

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