Les Cascadeurs installation by Laurent Gongora
interrupts the flow of a waterfall


Steel triangles protruded from a waterfall in central France to intervene with the cascade of water in this installation by artist Laurent Gongora.

House of Nagahama by Takashi Okuno

Laurent Gongora attached 24 metal elements to the rock behind the Cascade de Vaucoux in France's mountainous Massif Central region to "redraw" the shape of the waterfall.

Arranged in an eight-metre-high diamond formation, the pointed shapes stuck out through the falling water and diverted the torrent over their tops.

House of Nagahama by Takashi Okuno

"Looking at this huge cascade, I thought it would be interesting to tame the way water is falling," Gongora told Dezeen. "The graphics of the basaltic rocks around the waterfall made me want to build something very geometric."

The project's title, Les Cascadeurs, translates as "the stuntmen" and also relates to the French word for "waterfall".

House of Nagahama by Takashi Okuno

The small roofs were coloured black to match the local stone and were fixed onto a steel base frame hidden by the water.

Horizonal bars beneath each peak were designed for daredevil wildlife to take shelter from the cascade. "There is a small wooden perch under each roof, in case a 'stunt bird' would like to come and shelter," Gongora explained.

House of Nagahama by Takashi Okuno

Gongora worked with two climbers over three days to hang the structure from rocks and trees above the site using six steel cables.

House of Nagahama by Takashi Okuno

The piece was installed for the annual Horizons Sancy art and nature festival in 2012.

  • Airborne

    One of the last things on Earth man should tamper with is a waterfall. Whoever gave permission to disrupt such a beautiful spot should be relieved from his or her position immediately.

    • http://www.libertydisciple.com/ The Liberty Disciple

      I actually like this man-made interruption. They use similar style patterns at the bases of spillways to slow down the water.

      Visually, this would be an exciting find in the woods for a hiker. Who made it? Why is it here? What does it do?

      You could go further with the design and function of this as well.

      It is rather extreme to want to fire someone over the installation of this sculpture. The great thing about interacting with nature, is soon after the sculpture comes down, nature will erase its existence. I’m not sure why allowing this would cause such a reaction. I am intrigued by your feelings now.

    • dan

      Get out of the wrong side of bed by any chance? I think it’s a very beautiful and thought-provoking intervention, that by the sound of it isn’t necessarily permanent anyway. At risk of getting carried away, I think it might actually make people stop and think about the natural power and beauty of nature.

  • Concerned Citizen

    How pompous is the “artist” that he believes he can add to what nature has done. Pity the fool.

  • Craig

    Seriously, did you actually read the article? The entire structure is hung from rocks and trees above the waterfall. It is not drilled into the rock. I think it is rather beautiful.

  • final destination

    I do not want to be jumping down from that waterfall…

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz PolishBear

    I love hiking in the woods, I adore waterfalls and swimming below them, and I’m all for preserving the environment and keeping natural beauty as pristine as possible.

    And YET, there is some oddly compelling about this. Naturally no one would want such an installation put up at Niagara Falls or somewhere in Yosemite. But as a temporary piece it’s rather interesting. And when you think about it, is it any more of sin against nature than Christo’s “Running Fence” or the practice of shining coloured spotlights on Niagara Falls at night?

  • http://www.libertydisciple.com/ The Liberty Disciple

    Give enough time, and nature, with its infinite time scale, will erase all traces of the largest man-made “interruptions”. A few holes into an eroding rock face under a waterfall, will be virtually unnoticeable in 10-15 years.

    I think if people have been able to put docks, small agricultural dams, mills and bridges into creeks for
    6,000 years without negative impact, the sculpture will be fine. Nature has this entire adaptation thing it does.

  • Concerned Citizen

    You are pretty much wrong in the context of what he has done, whether you admit it or not.

  • tim

    Get a grip.

    • raf


  • Concerned Kayaker

    They must have a real problem with kayakers.

  • Pat Swain

    Looks good. No rock damage, perhaps the odd fish with a bruised head. What’s all the fuss about?

  • Skye

    How come the 2012 project has just been recently posted?