Stefano Boeri and the Vertical Forest in Sardinia

MIGUEL MEDINA via AFP via Getty Images

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CELINE CORNU – Italian architect and urban planner Stefano Boeri poses on September 5, 2017 at the architectural complex designed by Studio Boeri, the “Bosco Verticale” (Vertical Forest) in the Porta Nuova area in Milan. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

“Be tree”, an unpublished exhibition that retraces, for the first time in Sardinia, the work and philosophy of Stefano Boeri in a surprising dialogue with the works and poetics of Maria Lai, at the Stazione dell’Arte from Sunday 20 June 2021. The link between man and nature is investigated in the exhibition through an exhibition that highlights the affinities and specificities of the production of two personalities who have been able to look to the future and open a profound reflection on our relationship with the environment: the architect Stefano Boeri and the artist Maria Lai. Two similar visions which, despite the originality of their expressive languages, reveal a new conception and representation of human life on earth.

The exhibition is organized by the Stazione dell’Arte Foundation with the support of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, the Municipality of Ulassai and the Foundation of Sardinia. Curated by Davide Mariani, director of the museum.

The Be Tree project consists of three interrelated moments: the exhibition in the new project room of the museum, the installation in the park and the exhibition in the spaces of the former train garage.


The vertical forest, the symbolic building of Stefano Boeri’s work, finds space in Ulassai in the tiny “Casa delle Janas”, the new project room of the Stazione dell’Arte, which houses a 1:50 scale model of this new architecture of biodiversity . Specifically, of the more than ten projects carried out in the world, the prototype of the first case is exhibited at the museum, built in Milan in the Porta Nuova area and formed by two towers 80 and 112 m high which house, overall, 800 trees (a vegetation equivalent to that of 30,000 square meters of forest and undergrowth) and which has already obtained important awards, including the CTBUH Award as the best tall building in the world conferred by the Council for Tall Building and Urban Habitat of the IIT of Chicago (2015). The concept of the Vertical Forest, that is, being “a house for trees that also hosts humans and birds”, is also explained in the exhibition thanks to a series of educational equipment and videos that illustrate Boeri’s vision of a sustainable city in relation to the double challenge of climate change and the progressive increase of the world population.


The cycle of life and nature are at the center of another dialogue between Maria Lai and Stefano Boeri which this time takes place in the park of the Stazione dell’Arte, respectively between the intertwined fairy tales sculpture. Homage to Gramsci (2007) and the temporary micro-architecture Clearing of embraces (2017). Lai’s work, almost six meters high, was born from the fusion of two narratives, The Mouse and the Mountain (1931) written by Gramsci for his children during the period of confinement, and the legend of the little girl and the celestial ribbon that she inspired the artist for the famous collective performance Binding to the mountain (1981). Both stories have in common a dramatic moment in which children, as Maria Lai recalls, are entrusted with the task of reconstructing the past-present fracture, attributable to that between man and nature. Today, Boeri responds to that same invitation with a prototype of public space, Radura degli abbracci, a variation of the Radura project (2016), which here is made up of ninety-five cylinders of fir wood measuring five methers tall and six centimeters in diameter, which create a place that is both permeable and intimate, where visitors can access to live an original experience of contact with nature, accompanied by the suggestive melody of Piero Salvatori’s cello with the song “Visions”.


The relationship between man and the environment is further explored in the spaces of the former train depot where, for the first time in a museum institution, the short film TROIANE, awarded at the Venice Architecture Short Film Festival 2020, is screened. The film, directed by Stefano Santamato and produced by Paolo Soravia / The Blink Fish for Stefano Boeri Architetti, tells, from the point of view of the trees, the journey of the fir trees uprooted by the Storm Vaia of Friuli and “reborn” in the scenography of Euripides’ Le Troiane at the Greek theater in Syracuse , following them for over 1,500 km, in the alternation of landscapes, colors and sounds.

It is a story of sacrifice and resurrection, which finds affinity in the work of Maria Lai with the narration that the artist entrusts to the cycle of works “Be tree”, created at the end of the years Novanta, which give the exhibition its title.

The exhibition itinerary ends with a selection of projects, sketches, photos and drawings referring to the various installations of Radura in the world, up to the Radura della memoria, the last extraordinary example made in Genoa, following the collapse of the Morandi Bridge. in August 2018. The intervention consists of a circular wooden podium with a diameter of 50 m, inside which forty-three different tree species are placed, in memory of the victims of the tragedy and whose variety recalls the biodiversity typical of the Mediterranean scrub .

Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by

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