As part of the Inhabits program at Milan Design Week 2018, the agrAir project by Piuarch outlines the elements which will hopefully be valued for living in the future – lightness, luminosity, careful use of resources, dissolution of contrasts between interiors and outdoors, between natural and artificial spaces – in a balanced relationship between earth and air. These ideas will also be repeated on the rooftop garden of Piuarch’s office, thus defining a synergic network at Fuorisalone.
In front of the imposing brickwork mass of Torre del Filarete, in the middle of Piazza Castello, the narration of the main elements has been developed using an installation running along two parallel levels, with continuous connections between them. The lower section, at ground level, consists of a large expanded clay footboard structured onto a 2.1 x 2.1 m square module: it includes two pedestrian crossings and is almost entirely covered by herbs, alternated with graminaceous plants, which follow the basic idea of the module, based on predefined composition patterns drafted by the landscape designer Cornelius Gavril.
The image is that of a botanic garden, enriched by colourful flowers and perfumes, to be admired and touched: a fragment aimed at restoring biodiversity and the concept of agriculture in the heart of the city. Parallel to the green basement, a multitude of transparent inflatables dances gently, following the movement of the air. It is a cloud of prism-shaped balloons, made of very soft recyclable film and placed on two different levels, three and six metres high; they are held down by nylon threads and their reflections change colour in daytime, when the April light enhances the feeling of the first days of spring weather; at night, on the other hand, artificial lighting further accentuates their evanescent character and turns them into fluctuating lanterns.
This ethereal composition is a metaphor of a forest, but also of the city itself, an expression of its identity, versatility, luminosity and lightness. Finally, between the two horizontal layers, some connections are drawn: the acrylic glass rods are used as support for creepers reaching to the balloons, marking the indissoluble link between natural items and artefacts. This connection should not have clear-cut margins, but rather offer opportunities for ongoing integration, to improve the conditions of living. agrAir is the conceptual manifesto of a resolved dichotomy; the philosophical depiction of the elements and emotions which architecture needs to be able to bring out. Source and images Courtesy of Piuarch.
- agrAir at INHABITS – MILANO DESIGN CITY 2018
- Location: Piazza del Castello, Milan, Italy
- Date: 17-22 April 2018 from 10am to 1 am
- agrAir at ORTO TRA I CORTILI – PIUARCH
- Location: Via Palermo 1, Milan, Italy
- Date: 17-22 April 2018 from 10am to 7pm
Article by Marco Rinaldi