A 12,000 m² forest lies at the heart of the 60,000 m² rectangular area. 150 perennial pines were planted in the inner courtyard in 1995, which is only open to the public for one afternoon of the year.
The forest was designed as a small-scale version of the Forêt de Fontainebleau, where François Mitterrand enjoyed going for walks. So trees measuring 18-22 metres tall, precisely 40 years old, were dug up with the OPTIMAL 2500 and OPTIMAL 3000 in Normandy and transported to a tree nursery for temporary storage so they could keep growing.
Two years later, in 1994, trucks transported the trees with a root system 3 metres in diameter to the capital city. They were lifted into the inner courtyard by crane. The tallest trees are now 30 metres high. The forest is a project that made the then young architect, Dominique Perrault, famous. And the forest too!