Layering and filtering light.
Project carried out for "V-chocolatier by Sweertvaegher", a chocolate factory in Kortrijk, Belgium, as part of Design’in. Project in partnership with Ideta, Maison du design, Designregio Kortrijk, CCI grand Lille and Lille design. The chocolate factory offers quality, locally produced craftsmanship in a contemporary interior. The whole gives off a feeling of timelessness, with a nod to the shop's history (old architectural elements preserved) : the combination of a contemporary design and a traditional product. The aesthetics of the shop is sober, neutral, the use of colour results from the nature of the materials used (wood, brass, glass, marble, terrazzo), in order to highlight the product, without cluttering the whole. At the back of the shop, on the first floor, there is an old passageway with a glass ceiling. This empty space often lacks light, especially in winter or in bad weather. The request was to enhance this area by lighting it, but also by dressing the void. This space is not visible from the outside, nor from the entrance to the shop : the aim was also to create an installation with an impactful visual effect, which would attract the customer's attention, without obscuring the view of the glass roof.
Canopee is a series of two luminous suspensions in pink and blue. Each consists of a tubular structure with six asymmetrical aluminium branches, a LED bulb fixed in the centre of the structure, and two sections of two-coloured fabric (orange and white weave for the pink and blue and green weave for the blue) superimposed. The fabrics are suspended from the structure at each branch by a system of metal eyelets and rings. A tubular steel arch, held by a steel piece fixed to the wall, allows the whole to be held upright, to suspend and deploy the lamp in the centre of the void, under the canopy, and to be able to swivel it.
The project is inspired by vegetation : a suspended, aerial garden, the space evokes a patio, a courtyard both inside and outside. The structure with asymmetrical branches, associated with the moving fabric, represents the random and uncontrollable side evoked by nature. It was chosen for its lightness, but also for its transparency and weaving. The colours of the fabric, woven with different coloured threads, have shades that change with the light. Each colour combination combines two different shades : this gives the fabric a feeling of depth and movement. The intensity of the hue increases when the fabric is draped and decreases when it is stretched. The colours evoke those of the cocoa tree and cocoa pods, the tropical fruit of the chocolate tree. The lamps overlap, the colours are superimposed and blended, creating a play of transparency and opacity. This play is also found in the arrangement of the suspensions. Indeed, as the lamps can swivel, they allow different combinations and arrangements, to let the natural light through the glass roof (in good weather) or the artificial light through the suspensions (in bad weather). Like a shade sail, the transparency of the fabric provides a subdued and indirect lighting, a diffuse light allowing to contemplate both the glass roof and the suspensions. This superimposition reveals the structures with several branches : the lines cross, echoing the geometry of the canopy, and taking up the aesthetics of an unfolded parasol, or the veins of a leaf.
These suspensions strike a balance between the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary, evoking the tops of large tropical trees, whose foliage is directly exposed to the sun.