Aéroflorale II is an enigmatic vessel built by La Machine. The 'floral machine' has become the symbol of Nantes European Green Capital 2013. European Green Capital judges commended the project's "originality" and "energy". The vessel will journey across Europe to share Nantes' green ideas.
When it came to choosing an ambassador for Nantes European Green Capital, La Machine and their incredible vessel quickly set themselves apart from the rest. Aéroflorale II and its Green Journey probe our urban way of life and nature's place in the city.
Aéroflorale II is a flying greenhouse dreamed up by François de Larozière, creative director of La Machine, and his team. This novel greenhouse is made up of three sub-sections: four legs attached to the main body, a greenhouse reminiscent of an 18th century botanical garden perched on the main body, and an aerostat made up of five balloons, which top the structure and make it fly. Aéroflorale is impressively proportioned. At 16 metres tall and weighing eight tons, it is made of perforated steel, larch and canvas.
Nantes' Expedition across Europe
The "Nantes European Green Capital 2013" expedition will visit four cities across Europe. Piloting the machine is a team of scientists, politicians, and environmental professionals. It aims to raise awareness of the environment and biodiversity among the general public.
Aéroflorale will stop off at Brussels, Hamburg, Turin and return at Nantes. A tailor-made support programme will be rolled out for each host city. Then, Aéroflorale will return home to Nantes.
Aéroflorale, unveiled for the first time at the "Floralies de Nantes" flower show in 2004, has since travelled extensively. Its journeys aim to raise awareness among the general public and delight children and adults alike. The vessel has taken 11 scientists across the world over the course of its green journeys to study plants' potential as a source of energy. And, as remarkable as it may seem, all the power needed to transport the vessel comes from... plants! Some even say this 'living fuel' makes the machine fly.
Aéroflorale II in figures
Dimensions: 16 metres high x 10.36 metres long x 7.3 metres wide
Weight: 8 tons
Materials: perforated steel, larch, canvas
Created in: 2010
Created by: Claude Rigo, Antoine Piffaut and Jean-Pierre Aubry
Built by: Samuel Hernandez, Olivier Ragot, Emmanuel Bourgeau, Richard Triballier, Viktor Vavra, Mathias Saint Martin.