Atelier Yokyok’s Vaulted String Tunnels

Paris studio Atelier YokYok created and installation using thin blue strings stretched between arch-shaped frames to create tunnels across the cloister garden of a French cathedral. The installation is called the Les Voûtes Filantes – or The Shooting Vaults – and can be found within the 16th-century Gothic-style cloister at St Stephen's Cathedral in Cahors, south-west France.

The designers used taut strings to form enclosed passages along the existing pathways of the garden, which run diagonally from the corners to a central circle. The strings are stretched between thin metal frames shaped like arches from different architectural styles.

The shapes include a quadrant and a semicircular arch, as well as an ogee arch and a lancet arch – both typical of Gothic architecture. The latter echoes the pointed arches that surround the garden.

Two arches are positioned at either end of each path in non-matching pairs. Arranged close together, the rows of strings merge the shapes of the arches and create semi-transparent coverings that visitors can walk beneath. The edge of each inner frame is joined to its neighbor with more strings, forming a square fence around the circular planting feature at the garden's center.

Additional strings extend from the outer arches to sections of the cathedral building to help keep the structure stable.

The installation is one of three winning projects in Cahors' landscape garden competition, organized as part of the Festival Juin Jardins Cahors 2015 that includes 25 open gardens around the city.