The invasion of mutant gardens lifestyle
All gardens are mutants by nature. Seasons and atmospheric changes leave their mark on the plant life cycle throughout the year. It is a simple spectacle that, when we see it, affords us an earthly connection with the vegetation around us, especially in cities.
During the COVID-19 lockdown period, we have appreciated more than ever our houseplants and balconies, however small, as well as those cool interior courtyards.
Nature suffers from human excess, and this global pandemic has shown how nature has taken back the necessary freedoms by returning and rising from the ashes of our pollution. From our domestic shelters, we have seen images of nature’s rapid recovery across the globe, with a clear display of overcoming another pandemic: the persistent actions of humanity destroying the ecosystem.
Normality is gradually returning to the cities and with it, we hope, a greater awareness which will help to protect essential nature and the environment.
At this time, architecture that integrates gardens into façades and interiors is a phenomenon expanding around the world, reminding us of nature’s strength and beauty in cities that renew and evolve. We see this in new office buildings, hotels and homes, where vegetation recovery projects are being developed, garden designs, new botanical museums, vertical gardens or rooftop gardens… Every little helps to regenerate and refresh urban life.
A forest building
In 2017, after ten years of construction, two new housing towers in Milan surprised the world: Il Bosco Verticale by architect Stefano Boeri emerged. This complex structure integrates trees on the balconies of each property, amounting to a total area equivalent to 30,000 square metres of forest. Following its success, the studio headed by Boeri (the current president of the Triennale di Milano), is preparing to tackle the design of a city in China, Shijiazhuang, constructed completely with buildings that integrate trees; a bio-city, a forest city.
A library of trees
At the foot of Il Bosco Verticale by Boeri, in the new area of Milan built in the last ten years, lies Porta Nuova, another botanical garden opened one year ago. It was designed by the architect specialised in garden planning, Petra Blaisse, from her Inside Outside studio in Amsterdam.
In the “Biblioteca degli Alberi” geometry interacts alongside vegetation and combines with avant-garde recreational spaces for children and adults. This is a stimulating journey in which the designer Piet Oudolf, the landscape architect and co-creator of the New York High Line, also took part.
A vertical garden of light
In February at Madrid Design Festival, the architect and design duo Mayice -who collaborate on the interiors developed by PORCELANOSA Group- thrilled us with their lighting installation projected on the vertical garden at the Caixa Forum in Madrid. An artistic immersion in nature and truly exciting architecture, which we will be slow to forget. We still have the images and videos, as well as the hope that it will return to stay permanently.
“It is a project for reflecting on the importance of urban forests in cities and how they help us breathe and reduce CO2. A healthier city needs to protect its areas. As well as the lighting, we also had collaboration from floral artist Loreto Aycuens, with whom we created an exclusive piece of land art to complement the open space at the Caixa Forum entrance”, Marta and Imanol told LIFESTYLE.
A spiral of nature
The spiral is the simple and key concept of the architecture of the new Audemars Piguet museum in the Swiss city of Le Brassus. The roof is fully clad in plants, continuing one of the constant foundations of the design of Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG, i.e. the inclusion and immersion of nature in his designs.
The building is a concentric structure that allows visitors to walk around the exhibition spaces through its winding walkways. It is inspired by the spring element of a watch, which stores and generates energy. Another essential element is light, with a spiral glass pavilion. This unique space will take visitors on a narrative journey through the company’s 139-year history.
A green exterior ministry
Architect Ellen van Loon is a partner of one of the world’s most important architectural studios, OMA. In her professional career, from leading the Casa da Musica project in Porto, we see her personal stamp on every building that comes across her creative, light and open vision. A sorceress of transparency, the internal play of multifunctional spaces and the inclusion of nature.
The Rijnstraat 8 building in The Hague is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the interiors of which stand out for their fluidity, modulation of natural light and the unique experience of the proximity of trees while working at your desk. “I experience nature as a vital necessity in all the spaces I project, the mutation of plants according to seasons, the freshness that they give off…, they generate empathy and improve the daily intense work of a ministry or any office”, Ellen van Loon told LIFESTYLE PORCELANOSA.