traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree

traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree

a house built around a tree

 

carlo ratti associati (CRA) unveils ‘greenary’, a private residence that revolves around a ten-meter tall ficus tree. situated right outside the city of parma, italy, the project takes shape as a traditional farmhouse refurbishment, showcasing new approaches to blur the boundaries between the natural and artificial.

 

the dwelling was commissioned by francesco mutti, CEO of mutti, the european leading producer of tomato-related products. the project advances CRA’s research into new ways of fusing architecture, natural elements, and advanced technological solutions.traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree

all images courtesy of delfino sisto legnani and alessandro saletta from DSL studio

 

humans and nature brought closer together

 

built on a site that spans over 2.5 hectares (25000.00 sqm), the project includes the renovation of the main residential unit, as well as the conversion of a pre-existing granary into a workspace. the ‘greenary'( which is a wordplay of ‘green-granary’) is designed to respond to the idea of biophilia, a scientific hypothesis suggesting that human beings share an innate desire to live close to nature. this concept is mostly expressed in the 60-year-old ficus tree standing in the middle of the living space. it belongs to a species called ficus australis that enjoys stable temperatures all year long and is thus well-suited for indoor living conditions. 

 

to form the ideal setting for the tree to thrive, carlo ratti associati (find more here) has completely renovated the old farmhouse to maximize natural light, installing a ten-meter-tall, south-facing glass wall. taking advantage of the micro-climate of the surrounding area, as well as of multiple technological features, the design controls the temperature and humidity, so that the occupants and the tree can live together comfortably. in addition, all the windows and the roof can be opened and closed automatically to adjust the amount of sunlight and fresh air entering the house. 

traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree

 

reinterpreting 20th-century architects’ theories

 

the renovated dwelling consists of seven terraced spaces, taking form as dynamic, interconnected rooms that reinterpret 20th-century architect adolf loos’ raumplan theory — with nature at its core. upon arrival, residents descend one meter to the main living area and the kitchen, which puts them at eye level with the idyllic meadow outside. the other levels of the house were designed to guide individuals through a naturally inspired journey, in which the tree serves as a prominent pillar. nature is also incorporated in other forms within the interior, such as in the flooring that incorporates soil and orange peels. 

 

‘the 20th-century italian architect carlo scarpa once said, ‘between a tree and a house, choose the tree.’ while I resonate with his sentiment, I think we can go a step further and put the two together,’ says carlo ratti, founding partner of CRA. ‘much of CRA’s work focuses on the intersection between the natural and artificial worlds. with the greenary, we are trying to imagine a new domestic landscape built around nature and its rhythm.’

traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree

traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree

traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus treetraditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree

 

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traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree
 
traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree
 
traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree
 
traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree
 
traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree
 
traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree
 
traditional farmhouse by carlo ratti in italy revolves around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree
 

project info: 

 

name: the greenary 

architects: carlo ratti associate (CRA)
creative lead: italo rota
CRA team: carlo ratti, andrea cassi (partner in charge), francesco strocchio (project manager), alberto benetti, mario daudo, serena giardina, anna morani, gerolamo gnecchi ruscone, giovanni trogu, matteo zerbi

renderings by CRA graphic team: gary di silvio, pasquale milieri, gianluca zimbardi

facade and MWP engineering: AI studio
structural engineering: AI studio (with luca giacosa), corrado curti

agronomy consultants: flavio pollano and paolo battistel (ceres srl)
authority approval, accouting, health & safety lead: aldo trombi

planning and works supervisor: AU studio

landscape design: paolo pejrone with alberto fusari

construction: AEC costruzioni
garden cultivation: arcadia vivai impianti

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ARCHITECTURE IN ITALY (399)

CARLO RATTI (61)

RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (235)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS (2337)

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