"Sentier d'Art en Condroz-Famenne", long-distance hiking circuit, covers more than 141 km in the municipalities of Ciney, Gesves, Hamois, Havelange, Ohey, Somme-Leuze. It is punctuated by nearly 50 works of art in nature. These works belong to the artistic movement of Land Art. The artist intervenes directly on the space and the components of the landscape and nature, with natural materials (branches, rocks, foliage, hay, etc.) and the installation evolves over time until its possible biodegradation. It is therefore very often ephemeral works. On Sentiers d'Art, they are destined to stay for a few years. These artistic and poetic shelters allow hikers to take refuge and rest for a night during their trip. A shelter, for a moment, for a night, to land, rest. A shelter suspended in space, as if in levitation, and which also invites you to suspend time to recharge your batteries.
The shelter designed and built by Nicolas Bourguignon (SPECIMEN) and Xavier Willot (designer) is an ephemeral shelter suspended around a tree. The wooden structure was designed so as not to require fixing in the tree itself. The shelter encloses the trunk and will not leave any traces after its dismantling. Every year the tree grows and the structure needs to be loosened. The shelter takes the form of a levitating cube at the edge of a wood. Transition between a clearing below and a forest, we guess it from the hiking trail, the dark wood of its facades blending into the darkness of the forest massif. The facades are made of burnt wooden planks arranged at 45° slightly perforated. The edges of the cube are dematerialized. The cladding boards are fixed to the floors and not to the edges which visually lightens the volume creating a game of transparency. The oblique lines contrast with the verticality of the trunks present around geometric diversion of the shade and the characteristic light of the forest. The cube thus suspended in a slightly sloping ground generates three spaces. Three microcosms in the microcosm that is the forest. Each space has very distinct characteristics and the visitor is invited to progress through the work and immerse themselves in different environments. . A first space is the one located under the volume. It is accessible by bending down, you have to squat in the leaves and the humus to smell the smell of the vegetation, feel the humidity, the darkness to discover a small ladder which gives access to the interior of the cube. In this first space, the contact with nature is direct.
By borrowing it, the visitor finds himself inside the shelter, surrounded by a visually very present regular and oblique frame which reveals the vegetation between the wooden slats. It is a space that is both introverted, we are protected from the rain but the contact with nature remains significant. The wooden slats seem to float and can open at any time. The presence of the trunk in the center of the box gives the impression of being in a strange outgrowth of the tree. It is an introverted space, the contact with nature is intimate there.
Looking up, the light appears and offers a surprising low-angle shot of the foliage. A new ladder provides access to the platform above the cube. There, on this outdoor observation platform, the visitor stands at the level of the first branches and discovers the near and distant surroundings. It is an immersion in the landscape.