Office of the Director General, Dunkerque


Joseph-André Motte
Desk, 1965
Aluminum legs, Formica, rosewood top
29.53 H x 98.43 x 31.5 inches
75 H x 250 x 80 cm

Public commission, Office of the Director General, Dunkirk


Joseph-Andre Motte, The Elements 80 Bookcase, 1960 and Desk, 1965

Material is in charge, then imagination.
–Joseph-Andre Motte

Motte’s work represents the intersection of beauty and functionality in the face of an industrial society. A figurehead of the French modern movement, Motte was instrumental in the start of furniture produc­tion in series in the early 1950s, and Motte’s choice of otherwise over­looked materials contributed to the program’s success. The Elements 80 Bookcase represents Motte’s early inventive use of glass and wood to create elegant but functional piece.

In the 1960s, Motte was frequently commissioned by the French administration to design grand public projects, including the interiors of hundreds of metro stations in Paris and lounges of the major Paris airports. In 1965, Motte was commissioned to the design the offices of the newly built Grand Port Maritime of Dunkirk. This desk was designed for the General Director.

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