Biblioteca degli Alberi
Michael Maltzan Architecture
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.
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).
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).
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
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
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.
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
Marieke van den Heuvel
(conceptual plan, landscape architecture, coordinators)
In collaboration with:
Michael Maltzan Architecture
(building program, architecture)
(urban and economic analysis, communication)
(graphic design, branding)
(planting design, coordinator of maintenance, planting supplies)
(landscape engineering, technical drawings)
Last updated: December 19, 2013
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Seattle, Washington, USA