FORÊT II is a recent urban installation by architect and teacher Justin Duchesneau and Philippe Allard, who is a visual artist for the Escales Improbables de Montréal. Built from 810 recycled shipping pallets, the cubic volume is a place for quiet mediation and reflection with in the urban fabric. The light-filled temporary pavilion is made from reclaimed wood, and it represents the space taken up by a large tree.
Justin Duchesneau and Philippe Allard have been working on projects together since 2009 and their latest FORÊT II (or Forest II) was completed just recently. The duo paired up to build a temporary pavilion for the Escales Improbables de Montréal festival, which was on display from September 2nd to the 11th. FORÊT II is a cubic space built from 810 reclaimed shipping pallets and covered with a lightweight wooden screen over the top. The open-air space featured four entrances that were aligned with the cardinal directions and four benches inside to provide a quiet space for contemplation. Daylight streams through the top and through the sides of the pallets to make the space airy and bright.
Both Duchesneau and Allard are concerned by ecological challenges, and they have created many public art installations and architectural solutions using found materials and objects. For Forest II, they teamed up with Quebec-based IPS, a shipping pallet recycler, to source their material. Allard further explained their installation: “It represents the empty and symbolic counter shape of a tree inside a cube made of salvaged wood crates. The installation is an impressive structure of light since the crates are empty. It becomes a place of meditation for anyone passing by and taking the time to sit down on one of the four benches. The light is filtered between the planks as it is between tree branches.” The pallets, which are made from trees, are in turn transformed into a representation of a tree, and eventually they will be recycled and returned to the earth.
Images ©Phil Allard