Installed for the annual Annecy Paysages Festival, Living Pavilion suspends an inverted garden overhead at the Notre Dame plaza in the old city center of Annecy, France. The pavilion employs a modular system of dairy crates as the framework for growing a planted surface on the underside of a three-sided open timber structure. The Liriope plants are first cultivated in the crates in the upright position. The planted crates are then installed upside-down at the Pavilion, and removed at the end of the summer season to allow them to be cultivated in a suitable environment (and right-side-up) in anticipation of future seasons. The modular design allows the plants to continue growing elsewhere after the pavilion has been disassembled, and for the pavilion to be regenerated in future years at different locations.
While the exterior shape of the pavilion recalls the hipped and gabled roof forms of the historic buildings of Annecy, the planted interior creates an unexpected suspended garden within the hardscape of the old city center. The garden of hanging shade-tolerant plants provides an environment maintained at a cooler temperature through a combination of shading and evapotranspiration. The geometric form of the pavilion - three sides of a cube tilted to contact the ground at three foundation points and warped slightly to elevate the structure - belies the organic nature of the experience within. The inverted lawn at the interior engages visitors and invites them to reconsider notions of nature within the context of the man-made.