Press Release:
Petite Loire – a Liquid Marble series installation by Mathieu Lehanneur for Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire Centre D’Arts et de Nature

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The installation Petite Loire – one of the works of the series Liquid Marble – designed by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur is showing in the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire Centre D’Arts et de Nature, France, during its International Gardens Festival (May 5 to November 2, 2016). The installation focuses on the way in which marble, water and light come together in an ideal combination.

“I wanted to address the garden with water as my muse. The water whose presence we sense even before we first catch sight of it below the Château, flowing uninterrupted to the sea. Some say the Loire is France’s last wild river; it shapes and nourishes the landscapes, it passes through without ever pausing along the way. Petite Loire is a freeze-frame, the river’s perpetual movement caught in a frozen, fossilized moment. A few dozen meters above the river’s natural level, Petite Loire cuts cleanly through the garden’s surface, delving into the soil to reveal a fluvial relief, both vertiginous and practicable, in green marble” says Lehanneur.


Photo by Michel Giesbrecht

The installation evokes a surreal vision of the river; made by the MCM ateliers, of a single piece of hand-polished green marble, and designed using the latest 3D software, Petite Loire reproduces the visual effect of a the water surface, gently ruffled by the wind.

Based on the idea of showing ephemeral things – of capturing indistinct, random moments and transforming them into something solid, the project Liquid Marble explores the possibilities of algorithm, in an effort to hold and freeze what usually disappears into vanity.

“I hope that, when passing the Chateau gates, the visitor will experience something that comes close to a magic portal, to a forbidden place in so many fairytales. Everything is liquid in this space, evanescent, enlightened, and yet it is executed in a material that is the one of the most solid imaginable.” Mathieu Lehanneur.

Technical note:

Work: Petite Loire from Liquid Marble series
Place: Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire Centre D’Arts et Nature
41150 Chaumont-sur-Loire (Less than 200 km south of Paris)
Date: from May 5 to November 2, 2016
Dimensions: 7,5 x 2,5 m
Material: Polished green marble, carved in a 3D software digital machine
Made by: MCM – Mármores Centrais do Minho


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Notes to editors

About Mathieu Lehanneur

Mathieu Lehanneur – one of the world’s top 100 designers and influencers chosen by leading design magazines Wallpaper (UK) and Surface (US) in 2014 and 2015 – is a French designer on the forefront of international design scene. He is also one of the few in his generation to use his talent in a variety of disciplines beyond furniture design.

Innovatively, he combines design, science, technology and art to create humanistic projects to achieve maximum welfare for human beings whom he considers as complex structures needing more than just chairs, but also air to breathe, sustainable food, good health, and love to live better.

Graduated from ENSCI-Les Ateliers / l’École nationale supérieure de création industrielle, Paris, Lehanneur has displayed his work in the permanent collections of MoMa (both New York and San Francisco/US), Centre Pompidou (Paris/FR), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris/FR), the foundation of contemporary art Frac Ile de France (Paris/FR) and the Design Museum Gent (Gand/Belgium).

Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design at MoMa (New York/US) describes him as ‘a champion of the intellectual agility of today’s design’.

In 2008, American magazine Popular Science’s ‘Best Invention Award’ was awarded to Andrea, Lehanneur’s indoor air purifier, created in partnership with Harvard University and based on studies developed by NASA.

Mathieu Lehanneur has designed for brands including Veuve Clicquot, Audemars Piguet, Hôtels Pullman, Nestlé, Christofle, Cartier, Poltrona Frau, JCDecaux, Nike, among others, with the same proficiency as he created spectacular projects for Saint Hilaire Church, UNESCO’s world heritage, (Melle/FR), Le Château Borely – Musée des Arts décoratifs, de la Faience et de la Mode (Marseille/FR), Diaconesses Hospital (Paris/FR), Centre Pompidou (Paris/FR) and the multicultural space Café ArtScience (Boston/US).

Lehanneur has also designed innovative and hi-tech products for international brands, from Boom Boom, a Bluetooth speaker for Binauric (Germany) and Wiser, a line of home energy saving devices for French-based multinational Schneider Electric, to the Take Time watch and Hybrid radio for France-based multinational Lexon. For spaces, he signed Strates, the intelligent office collection for Objekten (Belgium) and Cloudy, a collection of ceiling and suspension lighting for Fabbian (Italy).

Mathieu Lehanneur’s portfolio further includes partnership either with start-ups from different fields or important players as Huawei, with whom he collaborates as chief designer, and limited edition pieces for the Carpenters Workshop Gallery (Paris, London and New York).

In 2009 Lehanneur was invited to lecture at the TED Global Conference programme, and in 2012 the designer had his self-titled book published by the German publishing house, Gestalten, and a solo exhibition was dedicated to Lehanneur at Grand Hornu – Innovation and Design Centre, Mons (Belgium).