The project stems from the Luigi Rovati Foundation's desire to create a museum space within the historic 19th-century Bocconi-Rizzoli-Carraro building, a center for experimentation and research also intended to house various functions and an important collection of Etruscan artifacts. With this spirit, the garden project also gives back to the city a private space for public use where one can pause, chat, meditate and be inspired by the beauty of the ancient world of Etruscan art and the contemporary artistic and cosmopolitan of Milan.
In restoring the garden, it was decided to preserve the existing, historic and healthy tree species in full harmony with the identity references of the cultural landscape of Milan's gardens by Piermarini and Pollack.
The design proposal, which made use of several preparatory sketches studying the urban landscape and botanical context, emphasized the relationship between the greenery and the urbanity of the city, the definition of the boundaries, the axiality with the entrance and the focal points on which to make the eye fall, the asymmetrical compositional layout in which the curved line triumphs over the straight one, with embankments and small earth movements to give depth to the garden.
The underground part of the garden required a stormwater drainage design above the domed roof of the structure itself. For this solution, a construction technique with a sloping screed with multi-pitch geometry was identified to completely drain stormwater away from the domed ceiling, while the green roofing of this portion of the garden was constructed with a certified hanging green package system.
Both the Museum and the Garden received the certification LEED GOLD
It is a simple but refined pocket garden, enjoyable even during the cold season, thanks to the small greenhouse: a room for resting, reading or even for sipping afternoon tea. The austere charm of the palace is mitigated by a mild nature that, with the different colors and shades of green of shrubs and grasses, prefers during the autumn-winter seasons a beautiful red color, and for spring-summer white.The three green domes are aligned with the underlying domes of the museum but also as a dimension in harmony with the lawn space. The garden is accessible by a promenade, following the slightly uphill and downhill looping course, skirting the boundary wall behind the beech trees and entering the magnolia grove until it reaches the right side of the cafeteria. A mock optical effect of greater perspective depth of the garden was maintained, also connecting the promenade laterally. The garden created today bears witness to an experience of excellence in both its historical and cultural and technical value.
"Every work is always a discovery and an enrichment, and every garden has its own story and narrative," says Marilena Baggio, adding, "I hope that future users of the Rovati Museum garden will be able to enjoy its peace and grasp the variety of seasons because, as Raoul Vaneigem says, the earth is our garden. To cultivate it for the delight of the senses and according to the rhythm of the seasons that are also our seasons of life, such is the work that founds our eternity!"
Architect, landscape architect, expert in wellness architecture and therapeutic green spaces. Owner of the GREENCURE Studio, she works on places of care and childhood, hospitals, rural and cultural landscapes, parks and gardens. Today the firm collaborates with several international studios such as MC Architects, G. Peluffo, Rudy Riciotti, MAD Architects, Milan Ingegneria, Park Associati, Bolles+Wilson, Alvisi+Kirimoto, ETS SpA, Mythos Consortium.