A timber tunnel shaped like a snake - with a bulge to suggest an ingested mouse - provides perfect conditions for growing lilies on a farm in the Western Cape of South Africa.
The snake-like Puff Adder structure at Babylonstoren Farm, designed by French architect Patrice Taravella and engineer Terry de Waal, is made from balau wood strips on steel frames and winds along a stream surrounded by olive and eucalyptus trees.
The slats reduce direct sunlight while allowing air to circulate, creating an ideal environment for native South African clivia lilies, which flower in spring.
The tunnel features a bulge nicknamed 'the mouse', a visual pun suggesting what the snake might have eaten for lunch.
Photographs are by Alain Proust.
Here's some more information from the designers:
A shaded walk was recently created on Babylonstoren farm for a collection of clivias. These famous indigenous lilies of South Africa flower during Spring which starts in September. The walk meanders next to a stream emanating in the Simonsberg and slithers through wild olives and eucalyptus trees.
The structure of balau slats on steel frames eliminates about 40% of sunlight but allows a free flow of air: ideal for clivias. The bulge in the structure is known as “the mouse”, as it resembles a rodent in the belly of a snake. The structure was designed by Patrice Taravella and engineered by Terry de Waal.
Babylonstoren garden is situated in the Cape Winelands and is open to the public. The clivia collection edges a huge formal vegetable and fruit garden which supplies the farm hotel and Babel restaurant with fresh produce daily.