The Garden of Four Seasons
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a weather guarantee sometimes? Just to make sure your wedding photos are sunny and your garden party isn’t rained out? In Milan’s Garden of Four Seasons, you will soon be able to choose summer, autumn, winter or spring at any time of year.
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, you certainly know this feeling: Sitting inside on a freezing winter day, snuggled into a warm woollen blanket, you try to remember what summer feels like – and you realise that you just can’t. You try to recall your last summer holiday, but you simply cannot imagine how it felt to step outdoors in a bikini.
Next time you feel the urgent need to smell the enchanting perfume of springtime flowers to get through a long winter day, or you want to admire the colourful leaves and fresh air of an Indian summer during a hot, dry summer, just take a trip to Milan in Italy. The city is building a covered garden where all four seasons co-exist throughout the entire year. And if you live in a tropical place where the seasons don’t ever change, this could be your chance to experience all four of them at once.
The public garden will be located in the Fiera di Milano neighbourhood in the north-west of the city, where an old exhibition hall complex is currently being turned into a residential, business and commercial district. The covered garden will be part of its public park and house hundreds of different species of plants in an elongated pavilion of more than 2,500 square meters. Walk through the pavilion entrance into spring, then stroll on through summer, autumn and winter.
You may now be concerned that this luxury will consume huge amounts of energy, but rest assured it won’t. The inventors of the greenhouse technology, Italian design studio Carlo Ratti Associati and creative consultant Barbara Römer, affirm that the garden will run on zero net energy consumption. The roof is made of a very robust transparent plastic membrane called EFTE (also used to cover football stadiums, for example) outfitted with digital sensors that regulate the opening and closing of vents, modify the heat and lighting levels, and regulate the environmental conditions inside. The roof is also covered with photovoltaic cells that generate solar energy which is collected and redistributed among the different seasonal areas – it can cool the air in the winter area or heat the summer space. Furthermore, water is collected and redistributed among the pavilions and heat is transferred to make sure that the environmental conditions of each season are maintained all year round.
The Garden of the Four Seasons also touches upon the issue of climate control and remediation, as Carlo Ratti of Carlo Ratti Associati explains: “As climate change might become more extreme, the importance of envisioning strategies for climate remediation will increase dramatically. This was our inspiration behind the ‘Four Seasons Garden’ in which we usher in a technique for a sustainable Internet of Plants.”
So now, if you want a weather guarantee for your wedding, why not invite the registrar and your entire wedding party to the Garden’s summer area for the celebration?