The Galerie des Machines
The Galerie is a living space showcasing a veritable bestiary of machines. The machines built in the workshops of theatre company, La Machine, are tested in this lab.
During the visit, the machinists will explain the history and workings of these strange creatures.
The Butterfly Swarm is François Delaroziere’s and Pierre Orefice’s latest brainchild, and it can be visited freely alongside the other elements of the great mechanical menagerie.
Sleeping in its nest, a mechanical spider is awakened by the machinists, and climbs up along its threads. High up in the rafters of the Galerie des Machines, you can see a heron with an 8 meter-long wingspan soaring gracefully. Then it’s giant ant’s turn to make his entrance. Real plants grow next to mechanical ones, creating a canopy for the animals and you might be invited to climb in and control one of them!
Since 2018, the crucial prototypes for the preliminary studies of the Heron Tree* are set up in the Galerie. A large 1:5 scale model of the trunk, branches, struts, and root is exposed.
High up in the rafters of the Galerie des Machines, you can see a heron with an 8 meter-long wingspan soaring gracefully and a mechanical spider awakening and climbing along his threads. Two giant hummingbirds gather nectar from a blossoming flower. Then it’s giant ant’s turn to make his entrance. Here, real plants grow next to mechanical ones, creating a canopy for the animals… and, you might be invited to climb in and control one of them!
From the very first sketches to fully functioning machines, the entire creative process is on display in this Galerie/laboratory. It shows how the different elements of the Heron Tree* were built, as well as ongoing research in its construction.
The European Flight Test Centre
This wind tunnel flight simulator used to test all the amazing flying machines is unique in the world. A machinist takes the control of a “flying flea”, put on its seat belt, helmet and goggles, and flies at speeds of more than 100 km/h.
*The Heron Tree (or “L’Arbre aux Hérons”) project – commissioned and financed by Nantes Métropole – will continue to be managed by the Nantes Saint-Nazaire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is seeking out private funds for its completion. The project is not supported by the Machines de l’île being under the aegis of Le Voyage à Nantes
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