Biblioteca degli Alberi
Michael Maltzan Architecture

May 11, 2003 /

Milano, Italy

Photo courtesy Michael Maltzan Architects

The Inside Outside Team have been selected as the winners of the international competition for the planning of the "Giardini di Porta Nuova", a 100,000 square meter park, the first step in a wider-ranging project for construction of a City of Fashion and an Institutional Campus.
The design for the park, renamed "Biblioteca degli Alberi" (Library of Trees) by the Inside Outside Team, was praised for its powerful yet flexible concept, its critical intelligence and its richness due to the inventive layering of functions and physical conditions.
The Inside Outside Team, led by Mathias Lehner, includes Petra Blaisse, Irma Boom, Rob Kuster, Michael Maltzan, Piet Oudolf and Mirko Zardini.

Plan courtesy Inside Outside Team

The main theme of the "Biblioteca degli Alberi" is connection: a systematic tying together of heterogeneous elements. With a strategic criss-cross of paths, the park becomes connector for its surrounding, its inhabitants and daily commuters./ Inside Outside Team

The design with its botanical gardens, trees and orchards, squares, waters and paths, and its capacity to be festival area, community centre and fashion ground, is a rich and varied park that will be the beating heart between municipality offices, fashion and culture related buildings, vital train connections and residential areas (Quartiere Isola and northwards of the park).

Photo courtesy Michael Maltzan Architects

A path can be traced from each point of possible access to each possible point of exit. This system of paths establishes the connection between the park and the surrounding city, creating an efficient web of circulation and communication: a network that functions equally well in the initial, intermediate and final phases of the project.

The paths generate a mosaic of irregular plots. Each of the plots will be planted with specific groups of plant species, grasses or lawn. Circular tree groupings are superimposed on these plots, and together they will form a botanic library: "Biblioteca degli Alberi" (Library of Trees).

Photo courtesy Michael Maltzan Architects

The vegetal patches will alternate with water and hard materials, thus creating a series of public spaces that house cultural and recreational program. Buildings containing educational and cultural spaces will be scattered over and along the site.

Photo courtesy Michael Maltzan Architects

The buildings will not only create new gates and connectors between park and surrounding city and form a bridge to other cultural buildings and institutions in the city, they will also activate, define and protect the park, turning the entirety into an Urban Campus

Photo courtesy Michael Maltzan Architects

The topography and profile of the "Biblioteca degli Alberi" will be of great visual interest for all passers-by and viewers from the surrounding buildings. Its edges will fold up and down, enclosing and opening up the gardens, and creating numerous parking possibilities in its movement.

The Teams
Inside Outside introduces a team of different talents that will work together at close harmony. Each talent has been proven by their individually accomplished work, but each talent is challenged and enriched by regular interdisciplinary collaboration. This project can become one of these opportunities. And as we present a mentality in which an urban park is at the same time an efficient structure, a cultural space with and a lush garden full of unexpected stories and information, we think that this composition of talent will produce an exciting yet operable result.

Facts about Biblioteca degli Alberi

Inside Outside Group

Petra Blaisse
Mathias Lehner
Lieuwe Conradie
Marieke van den Heuvel
(conceptual plan, landscape architecture, coordinators)

In collaboration with:
Michael Maltzan Architecture
Michael Maltzan
Tim Williams
Yong Kim
(building program, architecture)
Mirko Zardini
(urban and economic analysis, communication)
Irma Boom
(graphic design, branding)
Piet Oudolf
(planting design, coordinator of maintenance, planting supplies)
Ro D'or
Rob Kuster
(landscape engineering, technical drawings)

Inside Outside Group

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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