La Canopée

  • Netta Peltola

A sculptural intervention investigating the intersection of colour, light and space

La Canopée is a site-specific sculpture designed for the atrium of Lycée Michel Lucius international school. The sculpture harnesses natural daylight as a medium to transform the everyday architectural space, creating a bold statement within the minimalist interior of the atrium. The concept was developed as a response to the study of architectural setting, and visitor movement and interaction. Spanning three meters in diameter, the sculpture is the centrepiece of a four-storey high atrium characterised by a large skylight and panoramic views from the surrounding balconies. Suspended from the beams of the ceiling, the sculpture forms a gently tilted canopy over a seating area mirrored at ground level. The construction consists of tinted glass slats, secured by a structural steel brace and a laser-cut rim. Each glass slat is angled to 45 degrees creating the sculptures striking surface relief which plays and refracts natural light as it enters the building through the skylight. The sun's motion is made visible - amplifying and casting sunlight as a warm halo onto the surrounding architecture and visitor pathways. By evoking the visitor movement in space, the surface design obtains its kinetic expression and striking colour transitions. Depending on the visitors’ location in the building, La Canopée’s appearance changes - turning the building into a stage for a sensory activity. From the ground level, the sculpture frames the sky with colour. Walking by the sculpture gains life, as the angled optics constantly challenge the visitors perspective. When viewed from the balconies, the sculpture plays with sightlines, allowing audiences to observe each other through a filter of colour. The elliptical form of the sculpture is echoed into a corresponding seating area located underneath. When viewed from higher levels, the composition creates a playful ’overlap’ of the geometry of the two. The seating consists of a steel frame, ply substrate and powder-coated steel tops to match. The seating area establishes a break-out space and a meeting point for social gatherings. It’s also space where anyone can take a moment and in a meditative manner, take notice of the architectural space, and it’s most arresting qualities - the daylight. Role—Artist, Concept Design Client—Administration des Bâtiments Publics Luxembourg Location—Lyceé Michel Lucius Luxembourg Fabrication and Install—Millimetre Engineering—Artura Engineering supervisor—B.E.S.T Ingenieurs-Conseils Technical Concept Design—Ben Custance, Lachlan Major Photography—Petros Vaxevanakis, Glasshopper Film—Petros Vaxevanakis Thanks to—Sophie Maurer, Ben Evans James, Sebastian Kite, Dany Wimbomont, Eeva Toivonen-Wimbomont, Esa Peltola, Julia Despouy, Clare Brooks, Damien Meyer, Petros Vaxevanakis, staff at Lyceé Michel Lucius