From workbench to work: Serge Binotto

From workbench to work: Serge Binotto

From November 9, 2023 to January 11, 2024, the École Nationale Supérieure de l’Architecture de Montpellier will host the Serge Binotto exhibition.From workbench to work, designed by Maison Ronde and co-produced by ENSAM.
This exhibition pays tribute to the architect Serge Binotto (1939-2021), Jean Prouvé’s right-hand man for over 18 years. In addition to the projects developed with Jean Prouvé, the exhibition “From Workbench to Work” focuses on the latest architectural works of Serge Binotto in Occitanie, giving pride of place to reuse.

A conference will be organized on Tuesday 21 November 2023 with Jacques Ferrer, Honorary President of the Maison Ronde Association. in the program :
5:30 pmBarthelemy Dumont, Heritage Architect and President of the Maison Ronde Association, will give a presentation by Serge Binotto.
At 18 o’clockJacques Ferrer will talk about Serge Binotto’s legacy at a conference titled ‘Relationship with Gesture’.
6:30 pmA roundtable will address the renewal of architectural education and the role of the architect.

The exhibition is from 9.11.23 to 11.01.24
Insam, 179 Rue de Lespero in Montpellier
The conference is on Tuesday, November 21 at 5:30 PM EDT 1

Entry is free, upon registration at

Serge Binotto has lived many lives. He was a distinguished collaborator of Jean Prouvé for more than 18 years, from 1961 to 1979. He accompanied him in the study of many projects, and assisted him at the Center National des Arts et Crafts, Paris) in directing practical work. A workshop that spans popular lecture courses. What strikes us about Serge Binotto is his ability to seize the opportunities presented to him, and to face life with great freedom and an extraordinary ability to adapt. The son of Italian immigrants, he arrived in the capital at the age of 20 to work as a laborer in thriving Parisian automobile factories, and nothing helped him meet Jean Prouvé. Obtaining only a CAP in general mechanics and a draftsman’s certificate, at the age of less than 25 he became a lecturer at CNAM and at the same time was entrusted by Jean Prouvé with important responsibilities for the development of sensitive projects such as The Pierrelatte. The atomic plant, the Alpexpo building in Grenoble, the facades of the headquarters of the Communist Party of Oscar Niemeyer, Total service stations, etc.

Ingenious, industrious, and determined, when he was thirty, he designed and constructed for his parents a recently discovered roundhouse at Mirepoix in Ariège which contained all the necessary capital labor in the production of Prouvé workshops.
Throughout his life, he set out on perilous adventures without means and with no support other than his many friends whom he brought with him in his wake through perseverance and a spirit of invention. This is particularly evident by the building of a 21-metre sailboat from the ground up, which is still sailing, and the restoration of a magnificent 23-metre gaff set a few years later. Upon his return to Ariège after retirement, he and his partner Elisabeth created, through self-construction and reuse, several buildings including a 25 x 50 meter indoor riding arena and innovative, entirely “home-made” square-plan stables.
Throughout his life, he wanted to pay tribute to the different teachers who allowed him to learn: he easily said of Jean Prouvé that he was the blacksmith in his career. He often recalled: “When you design a project, all you have to do is build it.” He leaves behind thoughtful, constructed work that is more relevant than ever.

The exhibition “From Workbench to Work” traces the main activities of Serge Binotto in three paintings: Serge Binotto, the Round House, and finally Self-Construction and Reuse.

The Maison Ronde association works to protect and promote the House of Prouvé-Binotto, known as the “Round House”, located in Mirepoix in Ariège. Fundraising for its renovation is underway, with support from the Heritage Foundation:

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