“Living Nature (La natura dell’abitare)”, a garden pavilion where all four seasons coexist with each other simultaneously, opens in Milan’s main square, Piazza del Duomo.
Living Nature is the premier exhibition at the world’s leading design and furniture fair. “Living Nature”, which stems from a concept by CRA and Studio Römer, makes use of an innovative energy management system for climate control, with green spaces curated by Patrick Blanc and Flavio Pollano.
The project embodies the values of Salone del Mobile’s 2018 Manifesto, exploring a new relationship between nature and design. It will be open to the public from 17th to 25th April 2018, and will also play host to a series of talks on nature and sustainability with an international array of speakers.
The 500 square-meter, 5-meter high pavilion will house four natural, climatic microcosms, corresponding to the four seasons. Visitors will be immersed in nature as they wander through winter, spring, summer and autumn. Each season will be enriched by a display of familiar design objects by some of the most prestigious furniture brands, including Arper, Cappellini, Ethimo, Glas Italia, Kartell, Living Divani, Magis, Moroso.
Each season will present a different theme – living room in spring, picnic in summer, office in autumn, playroom in winter. While people can throw snowballs in the winter garden or work on their suntan in the summer garden, the pavilion also puts forward a poetic integration between interior architecture and nature. A key issue raised by “Living Nature” is climate change.
The plants in the pavilion, selected by French botanist Patrick Blanc, are housed under a 5-meter-high selective crystal membrane that dynamically filters the sun based on input from light-reactive sensors. Above the pavilion, photovoltaic panels generate clean energy, providing the required energy to cool the winter area, or to heat the summer space.
Batteries provide additional storage to even out high and low peaks of energy production.The plants in the pavilion, selected by French botanist Patrick Blanc, are housed under a 5-meter-high selective crystal membrane that dynamically filters the sun based on input from light-reactive sensors. Above the pavilion, photovoltaic panels generate clean energy, providing the required energy to cool the winter area, or to heat the summer space.
Batteries provide additional storage to even out high and low peaks of energy production. Living Nature houses four different ecosystems, with 23 species of tall trees that enjoy perfect lighting and temperature conditions in an optimal habitat. The winter area includes two types of acer and pine trees, along with a Himalayan birch, Chinese scholar tree, and Oriental spruce.
The spring area features a Japanese flowering crabapple and a Tibetan cherry ‘Branklyn’ — both in full bloom — along with a Magnolia x loebneri, flowering myrobalan, a katsura tree and two varieties of amelanchier tree. The summer area contains the welcome shade of a common oak and a common alder tree, and a small-Leaved lime, common hornbeam and soft tree fern.
Finally, in the autumn section, a crab apple ‘Rudolph’, Japanese maple and Persian ironwood make for a riot of warm colours. In addition to the tall trees, each season’s space is also characterised by garden compositions featuring plants and flowers that are typical of that time of the year. There is also a huge variety of shrubs, grasses and bulbous plants for visitors to look at as they wander around the pavilion. Source by Carlo Ratti Associati.
- Location: Milan, Italy
- Architect: Carlo Ratti Associati
- Project Team: Carlo Ratti, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Antonio Atripaldi (Project Lead), Isabella Artana, Chiara Borghi, Rui Guan, Nicola Scaramuzza, Anna Scaravella,
- Renderings by CRA graphic team: Gary di Silvio, Gianluca Zimbardi
- Concept Design: Carlo Ratti Associati & Studio Römer
- Design Development: Carlo Ratti Associati
- Set Design: Studio Römer
- Engineering Consultant: Ai Studio (Carlo Micono, Guido Zanzottera, Rosamaria Miraglino)
- Landscape and Botanics: Patrick Blanc; Flavio Pollano
- Construction: PAC Team Expo ; INGEMBP
- Graphics: studio FM milano
- Year: 2018
- Photographs: Delfino Sisto Legnani, Marco Cappelletti, Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati
Article by Marco Rinaldi