Jacques Cooper

Jacques Cooper Jacques Cooper

Born in 1931 in Chantilly (France), Cooper, as a young kid, was already strongly interested in drawing trains. In 1947, he joined the famous Boulle design school in Paris.

Since 1953, he worked for Raymond Loewy, designing famous malls (like BHV, Monoprix…). He also designed a helicopter in 1957 (“Gouverneur”: unique propotype of a “Alouette II” modification).
Then he worked for house equipment companies (General Motors - Frigidaire, Arthur Martin) and car makers (Renault, Brissonneau et Lotz), as a design specialist for “exceptional” cars: Cooper notably designed the Murène prototype (Heuliez), based on a Porsche 914.

At the end of the 60s, as he was still working at Brissonneau et Lotz (producing parts for the SNCF in association with Alsthom), Alsthom boss asked him to design « a train, not looking like a train »…
Cooper joins Alsthom in 1972 and he conceives the design of the outside and interior of the TGV Turbotrain 001, tacking inspiration from a Porsche (with a profiled line and a sloping front): the TGV style was born…

The design project was immediately accepted for the outside line, but Cooper was invited on numerous occasions to re-design the interior, from seats to door handles.

Whereas the TGV 001 was tested for the first time, some aeronautics specialists just said: “add wings to this train, and it will fly!”…

Finally, the draft of Cooper for the new TGV Atlantique was dismissed in August 1986 and it is Roger Tallon who designed the TGV Atlantique… Cooper left Alsthom in 1987, after having designed the subways of Santiago and Cairo, as well as the 6G and 8K Chinese locomotives.