The ‘Library of Trees’, a new form of public park in Milan

 

Photo: Andrea Cherchi

The ‘Biblioteca degli Alberi’ (Library of Trees) was designed in 2003 by the Inside Outside team with Petra Blaisse, Mirko Zardini, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Piet Oudolf, Irma Boom and Ro d’Or, and realized between 2010 and 2018 with local partner Studio Giorgetta. Conceived as a new form of public park, it acts as an urban connector, a cultural campus and a botanical garden.

It is a collection of species and ecosystems that, in their variety, integrate and at the same time consolidate the surrounding heterogeneous cityscape. The complex natural, and yet very urban, landscape is in fact supported by cultural, social, commercial and transportation hubs scattered all along its edges, which trigger interest, encounters and contamination.
 


 

The park is located in Milan in the Porta Nuova area, at the intersection of Garibaldi Station, Bosco Verticale, the new Piazza Gae Aulenti and the Palazzo della Regione Lombardia. The large surface (9.5 ha is covered by a web of colliding linear paths, irregular fields and circular forests. The routes reinforce the existing urban axes, guide visitors through the park and provide botanical information and poetic inspiration. They also define the ever-changing fields of flower meadows, lawns, shrubs, ornamental plants, aromatic plants, a labyrinth and a pond, offering a parade of perfumes and colours. The circular groupings of trees, distributed as confetti inside the park, form unique plant pavilions, consisting of 22 tree species and designed to host specific programs.

 


 

The uniqueness of this park in facts lies in combining flora and fauna with a rich program of functions. While the distinct ecological habitats are designed to attract insects, bees, birds and frogs, the various fields and plant pavilions are equipped to host activities such as play, sport, relaxation, meetings, events and events.

The new park, given the relevant size and the location in one of the main hubs of the city, is one of the most important for Milan. The Biblioteca degli Alberi is a place of leisure, sport, learning and beauty, where everyone is invited to act and interact, meet, have fun and educate themselves.