The Great Escape

This summer's main attraction is not a pool at all. Rather, it's an amazingly transportive piece of marble! See the incredible new installation in France's Loire Valley.

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Every summer we seek out our favorite watering holes, but this summer's pool of choice isn't actually a pool at all—in fact, it isn't even made of water! The water we're dreaming of is French designer Mathieu Lehanneur latest Liquid Marble work, "Petite Loire." It's installed at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire's Centre d'Art et Nature in France's Loire Valley—and it's incredible.

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But what is Liquid Marble, you ask? The magical sounding substance mixes the elements of water, marble, and light to evoke the look of a river in motion. Inspired by the Loire River, the work "is a freeze-frame," Lehanneur has said—"the river's perpetual movement caught in a frozen, fossilized moment." 

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Crafted from a single piece of marble using 3D software, "Petite Loire" is installed level with the art center's courtyard. The glassy green work creates a mirage-like effect in the chateau's entrance. And even though it's solid marble, the installation is somehow still the perfect reprieve on a hot summer day. As Lehanneur has said, "I hope that… visitor[s] will experience something that comes close to a magic portal." Just our brand of escapism!

A close-up of the dreamy installation.

"Petite Loire" will be on view through November. Find out how to visit at

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