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The Library of Tree

The development of the Varesine – Garibaldi area is a project that has changed the face of Milan. It is a complex project that, in 2003, included an international competition for the design of a large park, which was won by Petra Blaisse from the Inside Outside studio.

The park covers 170,000 square metres and offers a kilometre-long linear walk and hundreds of trees, including 19 different species, as well as shrubs, bushes, vines and aquatic and ornamental plants. There are also 5 kilometres of cycle paths, which make it the largest pedestrian space in the whole city.

The park designed by Inside Outside is an urban connector, a cultural campus and a botanical garden. The paths come from different areas that surround the site (such as residential zones, shopping spaces and government offices) and together form a grid of criss-crossing connections. The replanting project for the fields consisted of a series of species that were carefully selected to create different “plots”. The park is also surrounded by buildings where various types of cultural events are held. The end result seeks to create a place where people can meet, have fun and learn, and which is linked to the city both physically and ideally.

The fact that this area was designed as an interconnected space means that considerable attention was paid to how it could be enjoyed at night, too.

The lighting concept was designed by the Inside Outside studio who worked together with iGuzzini to ensure that the system would comply with lighting value and uniformity standards for outdoor spaces, and that the luminaires chosen would meet the studio’s style requirements. The luminaires and type of lighting effect were defined according to the different requirements of the various areas. So, the paths are lit by 4-metre-high, pole-mounted Crown luminaires fitted with ST1 C street optics. This type of optic is ideal for street lighting, cycle and pedestrian paths on account of the high level of comfort it offers and its excellent semi-cylindrical lighting that makes it easier to recognise people’s faces. The general lighting on the paths is also created by pole-mounted luminaires and reinforced by iWay bollards, with a symmetrical optic and 360° flow emission.

In the areas requiring a high level of illumination, pole-mounted Maxiwoody luminaires were used with a Flood optic to create a soft, diffused effect. The trees have special lighting systems, consisting of ground-recessed Light Up luminaires and Orbit luminaires were recessed in the benches to create a floor-mounted wall washer effect. Specially produced circular Orbit luminaires were also inserted in the swing structures to create ground-based light plays. All this means that a pleasant warm atmosphere is created at night that invites people to frequent the park continuously.

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  • Year
  • Client
    Municipality of Milan
  • Lighting project:
    Inside Outside - Petra Blaisse
  • Landscape architecture:
    Inside Outside - Petra Blaisse
  • Local landscape architect:
    Studio Giorgetta
  • Photographer
    Paolo Carlini