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Embarquement: Outdoor Furniture Rolling Through the Vineyards of Nantes

These relaxing seating-accommodations with wheels were conceptualized and designed by a collective of French architects and landscapers.

Once named as “the most liveable city in Europe” by Time magazine, Nantes is a beautiful city in the west of France. It is also known for holding the title of European Green Capital for its efforts to reduce air pollution. In order to bring more people to the vineyard in the southeast and to the shores of the river Sèvre, the city looked for a new style that is inviting and embodies the atmosphere as well as the industrial heritage of the region.

For this, the design studios Ferpect and Jérémie Koempgen Architecture developed a series of outdoor furniture that is light, moveable and relaxing. Together with the metal manufacturers of Francois Lebot and the woodcrafters from 100 Detours, Embarquement was born. It is an atypical and almost poetic project, which draws inspiration from the industrial history of the La Haie-Fouassière harbour. It consists of a wheelbarrow-bench, a table and a structure made of wood slats that is added to a small building called „la tomate“.

The wheelbarrow bench comes from the desire to move from hillsides to the waterside, to bask under the shades of the Sèvre’s edges and to enjoy the landscape. This furniture is the contemporary interpretation of the washerwomen’s wheelbarrow. It aims to create new uses of the riverside and invites to come and sit together. The planking is made of wood salvaged from old windows, coming from varied and crossed wood types, mainly exotic red and brown oak.

The Tables are designed with the same mindset. The thin planks are “unwound” on the metallic structure. The shape is deliberately conceived to let the imagination run free. The structure has been refined in order to reduce its weight and to make the furniture more movable. One person can sit down near the handles of the wheelbarrow table.

The simple wood slats proposed on all the openings of the tomate house secure the building against the intrusion and give a certain depth to the building. Closed it looks like a dryer or a barn. The shadows on the wall create a mysterious atmosphere. Once open, the shutter turns into a canopy above the little square to welcome visitors.

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