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La Petite Forêt casts a warm glow at xintiandi Design Festival

Born from a series of imaginations about nature, Galaxy Arch’s La Petite Forêt installation is a maze, a dwelling, and an illusion, symbolizing a boundless paradise. Enlivening the Taipingqiao Park at the 2024 Xintiandi Design Festival, curated around the theme ‘A hybrid playground’, the work sparks an exploration of freedom and joy in modern life.

An adventure of light, La Petite Forêt is characterized by two facets — the daytime bustle and the nighttime bizarre. During the day, sunlight filters through the geometric panels and spills onto the lawn and transforms the ground into a canvas, reflecting the sky and the surroundings. Walking within, filtering between shelter and open-air, the changing scenery creates an immersive yet grounding experience. At night, the semi-transparent panels are illuminated, glowing in an enchanting play of light and shade.

all images courtesy of Galaxy Arch

La Petite Forêt’s installation invites exploration and joy

Galaxy Arch has shaped the installation from 33 steel-wood composite columns of varying lengths across a 3×4 grid, supporting three identically sized, semi-transparent panels. Each panel is rotated 120 degrees relative to the others, sharing a column to form an organically complex planar structure and distinct spatial experience. Each column is composed of an angle steel pair and two pairs of specially sectioned elm wood, connected to pre-embedded short column heads on the ground beam through sleeves for quick positioning and installation. Through bent steel plates and bolts they support semi-transparent panels made of steel and acrylic frames, carrying along their surfaces tree shadows and transmitting light. Between the two components, a deliberate structural distance gives a visual sense of being both connected and detached.

The design highlights the fragile nature of La Petite Forêt, with some parts gently swaying, even teetering, avoiding permanence and immovability, aligning with our expectations for an adventure in nature. ‘This principle of simple origins embodies the philosophy behind La Petite Forêt’s design: the finite and the infinite are not irreconcilable, representing the contrast between the micro and the macro, the causal logic between reason and intuition,’ notes the team at Galaxy Arch.

translucent panels of galaxy arch's installation cast warm glow across park in china
Galaxy Arch’s La Petite Forêt is a maze, a dwelling, and an illusion

translucent panels of galaxy arch's installation cast warm glow across park in china
enlivening the Taipingqiao Park at the 2024 Xintiandi Design Festival

translucent panels of galaxy arch's installation cast warm glow across park in china
walking within, filtering between shelter and open-air, creates an immersive yet grounding experience

Brandhaus
Brandhaus