New York City-based studio Behin Ha suspended a temporary inverted garden overhead at the Notre Dame plaza in the old city center of Annecy,France. Installed for the annual Annecy Paysages Festival, the Living Pavilion comprises a three-sided open wooden structure, within which a modular system of dairy crates provides the framework for growing a planted surface. After disassembled, the pavilion can be regenerated in future years and the plants can continue to grow elsewhere thanks to its modular design.
Invited to reinterpret their 2010 installation Living Pavilion on Governors Island in New York for the 2019 annecy paysages festival, behin ha has built a temporary pavilion, which, like the original, employs plastic dairy crates to support plants overhead. The installation’s exterior shape recalls the hipped and gabled roof forms of the historic buildings of Annecy, while its interior creates an unexpected suspended garden with an inverted lawn that engages visitors and invites them to reconsider notions of nature within the context of the man-made.
The pavilion’s geometric form comprises three sides of a cube tilted to contact the ground at three foundation points and warped slightly to elevate the structure. Inside, the garden of hanging shade-tolerant plants provides an environment maintained at a cooler temperature through a combination of shading and evapotranspiration. The Liriope plants that grown on the crates are first cultivated in the upright position, and then installed upside-down at the pavilion. Thanks to the modular design, at the end of the summer season, the plants can be removed and cultivated in a suitable environment (and right-side-up) in anticipation of the next season, allowing for the regeneration of the pavilion from year-to-year, and at different locations.
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