Design duo Fanny Bouchet and Emmanuelle Messier of Byme Architecture have a knack for creating inventive interiors and avant-garde art. This multifaceted talent is particularly evident in Débarrassons le Plancher, an architectural art installation that reimagines history and tricks the eye.
Débarrassons le Plancher—Frenchfor “let’s get rid of the floor”—is composed of over 3,000 wooden cubes. Each block was manually cut by the artists and eventually glued by hand to the floor of an ancient fortification in the south of France. The cubes are peculiarly arranged in a way that resembles a hole appearing to expand and swallow the floor.
This clever construction is intended to reference and reinterpret l’assomoir (“the deadfall”), a trapdoor-type apparatus that fortress defenders would use to trick and attack intruders. Débarrassons le Plancher puts a contemporary—and much less deadly—spin on this ancient tradition, acting as both an optical illusion and a nod to the past.
The architectural art installation was created for a festival organized by the Center of National Monuments at Aigues-Mortes in France. Débarrassons le Planchera reflects the center’s mission to “promote the participation of national monuments in cultural life” by breathing new life into a seemingly outdated structure.
While this trompe-l’œil piece is no longer installed in Aigues-Mortes, Byrne Architecture continues to craft new and exciting installations. You can see these works of art on their website.