In January I had the opportunity to travel to Paris, France to see 25 Colorado Yurts go up in the Grand Palais. The yurts were for an installation by famed photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his group Good Planet. The art piece is called 6 Billion Others.
The Grand Palais is a structure of staggering proportions. It dates from 1900 but today it still has one of the largest glass ceilings in the world. Event organizers (from the design firm Scene) told us that although the Grand Palais is an awesome space, it can be rather difficult to control. That’s why they chose to use yurts as the space in which the art would actually happen. The 25 yurts were to comprise 25 mini-cinemas.
We arrived before the show opened and yurts were starting to pop up all around us. Some were fully pitched. The latice and rafters were up on others. The effect was awesome. Normally we think of yurts as natural and traditional spaces, meant to be pitched in organic settings. But here they were surrounded by steel and glass- a monument to industrialisation. Colorado Yurts are traditional but have adapted and because of this they work well in all sorts of environments. Even in the most modern of settings they fit.
Check out this video to see one of the most impressive yurt pitches ever: