A landscape project in the Tronçais forest

5 May 2022 



The pillar oak is the largest oak tree in Tronçais. But his young age plays against him! Our 200-year-old teenager does not yet have the imposing presence of his parents and therefore goes unnoticed by the untrained eye. Nevertheless, its qualities and its potential should lead it to be one of the most impressive oaks in the forest!


Our project proposal will consist of highlighting the extraordinary height of the Pillar, its signage but also the preservation of the forest floor. We will propose a straight path, with the proportions of the trunk both in width and in length… 47.5m. Our proposal is in line with the idea of ​​growth indicators. A witness that can be extended during its growth. In addition, the choice of material is not trivial. For this, we will use staves from cognac barrels supplied by Martell…solid oak staves…from these same oaks. Our installation is destined to deteriorate over time, so they will gradually return to the ground that made them grow! The circle is complete.


Another strong intention of the project is the storage of the root system of the oak without removing it from the visit. Indeed, too much traffic will compact the ground…and weaken our giant. Our strategy is based on two points:
– an above-ground path without a concrete foundation.
-a demarcation of a soil storage area discouraging access under the oak tree.
We have therefore materialized this storage by a circle of oak stakes with a radius of 6m around the trunk. Circle in which we will spread an organic mulch aimed at reactivating the life of the soil. The visitor will understand that he is not welcome there and will remain on the walkable floor of the oak decking.


As part of the call for projects competition organized by the ONF (Office National des Forêts) and the Martell house (the oldest French cognac house), the team from the Atelier des Réserves collective (Laurian Gascon, Etienne Vazzanino, Stanislas Jung) was joined by Atelier Pré Carré (Marc Vatinel).

A competition won for the development of the surroundings of the Pillier oak, the largest in the Tronçais forest. This forest of more than 11,000 Ha developed by Colbert, located in the North West of the Allier, is one of the most beautiful French forests! A unique setting under the most beautiful and old oak trees in France!

Landscape design studio for naturalistic gardens