Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled the "Greenary," a renovated farmhouse designed around a 10-meter-high tree in the countryside near Parma, Northern Italy. The scheme marks the first step of CRA’s winning 2017 masterplan for the Mutti tomato company, driven by a closer integration between nature and the built environment.
The 50-year-old Ficus tree, situated within the main living area, is encircled by stepped areas rising to the treetop, creating six domestic spaces. The house will be coupled with a factory developed in close architectural continuity, due to their physical proximity.
Around the perennial tropical plant, six domestic spaces are dedicated to specific activities: practicing yoga, listening to music, reading, eating together, sharing a drink, and the storage of wine and cured ham. Each space is positioned at a different level of the tree, with three above the entrance, and three below it, adopting the dimensional sequence of Adolf Loos' Raumplan principle.
We wanted the design to reflect our innate ‘biophilia,’ the natural impulse to connect with other forms of life, as put forward by the great Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson,” “With the Greenary, we are trying to imagine a new domestic landscape built around the rhythm of nature.
-Carlo Ratti, Founding Partner, CRA
Along with a spiritual association with Buddhism and enlightenment, the Ficus tree is ideal for indoor environments due to its preference for stable temperatures. To further aid the tree’s health, CRA has redesigned the old farmhouse with a 10-meter-high south-facing glass wall, maximizing natural light.
The renovation of the Greenary will start in the fall of 2018, with completion in late 2019.
News of the scheme comes after CRA won a competition for the National Library Tainan in Taiwan, working in collaboration with Bio-Architecture Formosana.
News via: Carlo Ratti Associati
Carlo Ratti Team: Carlo Ratti, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Saverio Panata, Andrea Cassi (project manager) Francesco Strocchio (project leader), Alberto Benetti, Anna Morani, Gerolamo Gnecchi Ruscone, Giovanni Trogu
Renderings by CRA graphic team: Gary di Silvio, Pasquale Milieri, Gianluca Zimbardi
Agronomic consulting: Flavio Pollano
Engineering: AI Studio