Artists Luca Antognoli and Gabriel Pontoizeau, the founders of Atelier Faber, have explored the realms of poetry and ecology through an art installation. Rausa is a pavilion that invites visitors to think about the development of the city of Reims and its relationship with its natural environment. This is important because the development of the city has destroyed local wetlands and may be contributing to flooding in the region.
Through the Rausa Pavilion project, the designers pay homage to reeds, which are iconic wetland plants everyone is familiar with and associates with water. Reeds were traditionally used to make thatched roofing. In the Rausa installation, reeds are the sole material used to create a circular pavilion open to the sky.
On the other hand, the installation site contrasts to its sophisticated urban surroundings. It is placed in the center of the courtyard of honor at the Musée Saint-Remi. Reed bundles are stacked to form a circular outer water of cut reed stems. In the interior, delicate reed flowers emerge, illuminated by the sun and enlivened by the movement of the wind.
Furthermore, the artists say that the Rausa Pavilion is a metaphor personifying what is left of the green space in Reims. They aimed at raising awareness of its progressive decline. The pavilion project hopes to encourage preservation and development of the region’s wetland areas through conservation and careful stewardship. It is represented here by the rough unprocessed nature of the reeds used in the installation.
Lastly, the reeds were supplied by Rosobren, a company that creates organic and geo-sourced, reed-based materials. They will be reused so they can be converted into products to create a sustainable circular economy and encourage zero waste of building materials.
Photography by Giaime Meloni