St. Horto

St. Horto

Architect
OFL Architecture
Location
Rome, Italy
Project Year
2012
Category
Parks/Gardens

OFL ARCHITECTURE WITH FEREDICO GIACOMARRA AND MITCHELL JOACHIM UNVEIL THE WINNING DESIGN FOR THE HORTOCONTEST

OFL Architecture as Architects

The project stems from the idea of creating a perfect synergy between architecture, nature and social technologies.


The name “St. Horto” is a pun, between Italian and English language. The two words “Horto” and “St” give at the same time the idea of a sacred, intimate garden and of something crooked, apparently disordered but full of life, just like a plant. Together they represent the irregular geometry (crooked or oblique) but highly controlled architectural design of the garden.


St. Horto fits perfectly within the project area and at the same time it redefines the boundaries through a game of compressions and expansions creating a dynamic and attractive space. The concept comes to life from the observation of spinning methods: mechanical (woolen mill) and manual (spindle or mistaff).


These two elements have been reinterpreted and incorporated into the project and represented by wooden poles and ropes of white canvas. The triangular tanks containing the real garden are obtained by the repetition of three modules, which in combination create endless compositions.


In line with the Lanificio’s inner cultural activities, we have chosen to adopt this geometry by the analogy with various forms of art: painting, drawing, music, cinema.


The architecture plays a fundamental role: spaces which are asymmetric but proportionate, uneven but harmonic, create unusual tactile, olfactory and visual perspectives designed to facilitate a complete and suitable experience for children.


The access to the garden is on the west side of the roof, in front of the entrance to the terrace.


From here you can immerge yourself in a space characterized by a succession of energetic triangulations, full and empty, which follow one another along a path of particular educational functions.


The innovative feature of St. Horto is definitely its integration with the 2.0 technology through a customized project.


Inspired by other projects of interactive gardens with sensors and thanks to the direct experience of Alberto Serra, creator of Jardimpu, it was decided to install a technology allowing realtime monitoring of the growing plants in the garden, through the use of hardware tools (Arduino with sensors and webcam) and software.


In three particular points of the garden, we use steel cables which become veritable harp instruments.


The St. Horto project combines four inseparable factors among them: functionality, aesthetics, production and teaching. The production is essential in the designed layout. Inside the tanks the usable area for cultivation is 115 square meters (flexible for future expansions) and is therefore enough for a real farming production, not only purely educational/disciplinary.

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Project Credits
City of Westminster College
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City of Westminster College

Universities
London, United Kingdom - Build completed in 2010
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