French Architects Create White Mesh Tower


A white wire mesh tower graced the skies of Lyons’ inaugural festival of architecture—the Biennale d'Architecture of Lyon.

For this installation, Paris-based architecture firm Laisné Roussel was inspired by greenhouses. The structure itself is made of white metal, and was filled with flowers and other plant life.

Known as the Flower Pavilion, the temporary structure was set up in front of the La Sucrière contemporary art building, which served as the entrance to the architectural biennale. The tower stood at 11.9 meters tall (over 39 feet), arching into a gabled roof, with a skeleton made out of tubular steel. The entire structure is otherwise only wrapped in a white wire mesh, with each individual gap only measuring 5 centimeters by 5 centimeters.

Two staircases wrap around the interior of the tower, opposite each other, leading to a nest of greenery at the apex of the structure.

"This installation was inspired by greenhouses to create an upward wander, surrounded by colorful vegetation," the firm said in an interview.

"The double spiral staircase invites the visitor to wander vertically in a fruity and flowery garden and provides access to the belvedere where one can contemplate the surroundings."

With the wire mesh exterior, the outside and inside become one and the same, with open views through arched doorways at certain intervals along the tower that offered a completely open view of the outside. Slides also graced the sides, but were covered with flowers and other plant life.

Laisné Roussel

Slides also graced the sides, but were covered with flowers and other plant life.

According to Laisné Roussel, this type of architecture is an experiment in what future designs might look like. The pavilion blurs the borders between inside and outside, architecture and nature.

For this project, Laisné Roussel teamed up with Michel Philippon and greenhouse company M-Tech. The focus had been on producing something that was both cost-efficient and sustainable. The construction companies responsible were SCOB Batiment, and SPCm.

The Flower Pavilion was on display for the duration of the biennale, which ran from June 8 to July 9.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Color + Design; Design build; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Green design

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