Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory meets Oz’s Emerald City at the Patrick Roger Chocolatier in Brussels, where Parisian lighting designer Gilbert Moity has designed an engaging green-hued installation. Within the confines of Cultural Heritage Authorities guidelines for the more than 200-year-old site in the Place du Grand Sablon—and the shop’s compact size of 33 feet by 16 feet—Moity was able to design a distinctive focal point without altering any of the interior surfaces or finishes. Dubbed the “Hanging Forest,” the installation is composed of light fixtures that Moity custom designed.
To take advantage of the space’s soaring 23-foot ceilings, Moity conceived a grouping of long plastic tubes to highlight the shop’s sweets. The confections are displayed on a long sculptural block, which Roger himself made from chocolate and cast in bronze. To recreate the appearance of lichen growing across tree trunks, Moity used several plastic materials for each tube, including frosted, colorless, and opaque green textured varieties for a total grouping of 90 tubes, with each measuring anywhere between two and five feet in length. As a whole, the Hanging Forest measures 24 feet long by 3 feet wide, and weighs just over 1,000 pounds. To ensure each highlighted morsel of chocolate doesn’t suffer the fate of the melting wicked witch, Moity integrated ventilation with the LED bulbs, and the shop is kept at a constant, cool 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
“This installation required nine months of study, prototyping, and reflecting in order to create a huge object that appears very simple,” Moity tells Contract of his design. “With the size and weight, and using the very high ceiling that disappears into the dark, I really wanted to get a feeling of floating and lightness; an object that one doesn’t know how it is suspended in the air.”