Behold: L’Arbre Aux Hérons (The Herons’ Tree) by arts, tourism and culture collective Les Machines De l’île – a steel sculpture, 50m across and 35m high, set to be the ‘largest hanging garden since Babylon’.
Half of the tree’s 22 branches will be traversable on foot by visitors and two mechanical herons at the top will each take 20 passengers on circular flights around the canopy. Though still un travail en cours, the collective is showcasing prototype sections, mockups and sketches at Machine Gallery in Nantes. To wit:
Inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci, it is an unprecedented artistic project…. it will be located along the banks of the Loire River, a few meters away from the house Jules Verne spent his teenage years in and where Jean-Jacques Audubon grew up and drew his first herons.
The attraction is due to open at a disused granite quarry in Brittany in 2022 at a (two-thirds public funded, one-third Kickstarter funded) cost of €35 million.