THE ORCHARD CITY

The project that Cibic & Partners presented during Saie Spring 2008 in Bologna, is a world where time passes according to the seasons and nature, with a “sustainable” village for materials, products, consumption and to allow nature lovers, families or individuals, to live in harmony with the seasons and their fruits following the natural biological cycle.

The concept is for a settlement in a green area of app. 900 sq.m. which would be the social and residential centre.

In cooperation with Europlan, a company that uses wood and all its natural features to satisfy the desire for nature without denying comfort, Cibic & Partners have planned two living units, three “tents” for an alternative type of accommodation, a pile-dwelling – quiet place to think, a greenhouse and two orchards for fruit and vegetables.

The first living unit is for a family, and has a large area for eating outside. All the windows open onto the countryside and underline the bond with nature and give excellent views.

The pile-dwelling – quiet place to think, is formed of a single room where the outside can be completely closed off for total privacy.

The tepees are a very refined economic and ecological answer for those who are more willing to experiment.

The greenhouse has been designed as somewhere to rediscover time and space for single or joint activities.

The orchards allow living in tune with the seasons and their fruits.

Special focus was paid to choosing the materials and cutting edge, low environmental impact technology, including photovoltaic panels, radiant panels inside the rooms, roofs with “green” covering.

Furthermore on the houses, the frames are made of ecocompatible cutting edge steel, to underline how the project adapts to a scenario where, unfortunately, theft, vandalism and fear are part of everyday life.

Besides the anti-break-in safety, which makes the need for bars or armoured shutters superfluous, steel has other features which make it the ideal choice for private homes as well: the strength of steel gives perfect stable long-lasting performance with virtually no maintenance needs. The excellent heat and sound proofing levels give even higher energy savings. Finally, as there are no sharp edges or corners they are safe against household accidents, especially if there are children around.

A project where we can enter nature on tiptoe, without disturbing it at all. A wonderful example of how nature and technology can live together, with the firm conviction that the Cibic & Partners project is not just utopia or a far removed dream, but something very relevant today.

Alice Acoleo

Acciaio Arte Architettura N.34 – June 2008