Petit Loire: Liquid Marble by Mathieu Lehanneur

Petit Loire:

Liquid Marble by Mathieu Lehanneur

A marble sculpture in the Loire Valley would at first not seem like a oddity in itself, but look around the 16th-century castle Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, you would be hard pressed to discern exactly where that sculpture is located. Yet despite appearances, the 330 lbs of marble takes centre stage in an otherwise seemingly ‘normal’ setting. That is because what seems to be a long stretch of emerald green water glistening in the central courtyard, is actually made of marble.


Mathieu Lehanneur Petite Loire Liquid Marble part 2


Entitled ‘Petit Loire‘ the work is another demonstration of French designer Mathieu Lehanneur‘s mastery over marble, his first ‘Liquid Marble’ piece being unveiled during Milan Design Week 2013 (see bottom image). This second project in his Liquid Marble series began when the Domaine’s Centre D’Arts et de Nature approached Lehanneur in 2015 to create a piece for their International Garden Festival:

“The castle is beside the Loire but it is up very high, so even if the Loire is connected you sometimes forget it. I wanted to remind the visitor that the castle was originally located here because the river is beside it and the garden can be hydrated easily.” ~ Mathieu Lehanneur


Petit Loire Liquid Marble part 2 by Mathieu Lehanneur


Whereas his first Liquid Marble piece was created using black marble, Petit Loire was to mimic the river in both colour and form, and hence it took many months before Lehanneur found the perfect piece of marble in a Guatemalan foundry. The marble sculpture was then designed – using photos of the river itself – machine-cut, and sent to specialist marble workers in Portugal; it was they who ensured that the marble responded to natural light “just like when the light glints off the sea.”

Petit Loire Photos: Michel Giesbrecht

Liquid Marble (part 1) by Mathieu Lehanneur Milan Design Week, 2013
Liquid Marble (part 1) by Mathieu Lehanneur Milan Design Week, 2013
Source: Higsnobiety
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