Landezine

An art collective rolls out a 1,400-foot path of turf for a small town in France.

Green architecture can often be taken too literally these days, to the extent that any structure slapped with a plane of grass on a roof or a wall can be too easily equated with do-good design. As architects and landscape architects continue to tinker with the still novel concept of grafting nature directly onto architecture, it is important to look critically at the role of nature in each design that wields a carpet of grass like a badge of moral affirmation.

We had our reservations when we came across the Tapis Rouge! installation in the French village of Jaujac, for which the public art collective Gaëlle Villedary rolled out 1,400 feet of turf grass rollers to create a snaking path of organic matter cutting through streets of asphalt, cement, and stone. According to Landezine, the meandering carpet was installed in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Jaujac’s arts and nature trail programs.

Like a distilled, just-add-water version of the linear park, Tapis Rouge! prescribes a specific circulation through the town. However, its narrow path leaves much to be desired, providing little room to do much anything (only picnickers on a diet could perhaps make something of the limited space). But this seeming inadequacy of design could be seen as the merit of the project as a temporary installation; the minimal intervention modestly introduces a new understanding of the village, one that gathers existing places and spaces and connects them all for a brief duration like a string of beads on a necklace, inviting locals to explore the village anew.

Landezine.

All images via

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  2. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  3. MapLab

    Introducing MapLab

    A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

  4. The Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria.
    Design

    The Prophetic Side of Archigram

    It’s easy to see the controversial group’s influence in left field architecture from High-Tech to Blobism 50 years later, but it’s easier still to see it in emerging technologies and the way we interact with them.

  5. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.