Article by Lidija Šuster – Zighizaghi Garden, by OFL Architecture, in Favara (AG), Italy. Every landscape in the world has its own unique spirit and identity, not to mention shape, size, and purpose. This time, we are taking you to magnificent Italy. To satisfy your hunger for creativity, we are zooming in on the map to south-central Sicily, to the town of Favara in the province of Agrigento. The designers of the Zighizaghi Garden, OFL Architecture, describe it as a multi-sensorial garden. Like magic, our attention is drawn to that statement; we are eager to know more about it. What does multi-sensorial actually mean? Let’s find out by exploring this project with the quite interesting and extraordinary name of the Zighizaghi Garden.
The Zighizaghi Garden
As landscape architects and designers, how can we connect more with nature through design? By creating a space that replicates some natural element or shape, of course. In this case, the idea for Zighizaghi began through a partnership between an Italian furniture brand, Milia Shop, and the Farm Cultural Park art gallery. Here, the aforementioned connection with nature was accomplished through Milia’s affinity for ecology and the environment, which served as a guiding star. This urban garden of 320 square meters fully covers the main conception, which OFL Architecture studio designed so accurately in the form of honeycombs.
Horizontal and Vertical Levels
The Zighizaghi Garden consists of two parts joined together, represented as horizontal and vertical levels. The first part, which lies on a horizontal axis, is an entire floor shaped like bees’ hexagonal creations. The vertical axis contributes an “artistic touch,” adding dynamic structure to the space. These two parts can’t work properly without each other. Now, we will dig deeper into the details.
In all landscape projects, the entrance should be highlighted and well maintained in order to draw in visitors. In the Zighizaghi, a slightly elevated gray platform plays that role. Three stairs lead straight to the building, but all the magic lurks to the left and right sides of the space.As a tribute to nature, all of the stuff on the floor was made from a natural material – wood –harmonically assembling various hexagonal elements. According to the designers, the wooden elements were made of phenolic plywood and knots of Okoumé (Aucoumea klaineana). Not all of the space is covered with wood: Thanks to the flexibility of the hexagons, the surface is randomly pierced with openings filled with soil. The light, creamy color of the plywood perfectly contrasts with the dark brown color of ground, a catchy combination that is pleasant to the eyes of the observer. These soil-filled hexagons serve as a foundation for particularly selected Mediterranean plants, with special emphais on decorating the Zighizaghi Garden and fitting it into the environmental context. To be sure that the plants grow smooth and strong, the designers integrated an automatic irrigation system. Lavender (Lavandula) and cotton lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus) are among the many different plants. The varied colors of their flowers and leaves tastefully fits into the whole space. Instead of standing out conspicuously, they quietly enrich the Zighizaghi Garden.
Light and Sound
Six vertical, 14-sided prisms rise above the hexagons. The red color of the “super-pods” refreshes the impression of the space, while also providing light and sound. These 3D objects stand on six thin, black rods, creating an impression of futuristic creatures from the movies. Their expressed artistic appearance is a dedication to the “Pfff” inflatable architecture competition. The hexagonal shape of the prisms is meant as a tribute to the inflatable pavilion made by Cityvision and Farm Cultural Park.During the evening and night, the illuminated red bodies of the prisms add a mystical and glamourous touch to the whole ambiance. Light stamps scattered all over the place emphasize the floor’s decorative elements. Additionaly, these super-pods have loudspeakers inside them, using music to attract and harmonize people with Zighizaghi’s natural environment.
Why a Sensorial Garden?
Finally, let us sum up the “multi-sensorial garden” definition. With all of the details in one place, this description is totally justified. A multitude of senses is satisfied — sight, hearing, smell, and even touch. The combination of colors is right – not too much and not too little, with a very welcome aid of lighting. The space is peaceful in its horizontality, but properly dynamic and vivid. Carefully selected plants increase the sensorial experience with scents and aromas, as well as enriching the space with diverse leaf textures. Music is the final touch of art in this urban area — always helpful and advisable in this kind of landscape.Designing any space is not an easy job. There are many things that should be taken into consideration. Smart use of technology, plants, materials, and architecture can do wonders. The Zighizaghi garden is great example of how one space can meet all of these criteria, and now the world is richer for one more beautiful landscape project. What do you think about the Zighizaghi Garden? Would you change or add anything? Tell us in the comments.
Full Project Credits For Zighizaghi:
Project Name: Zighizaghi Project: OFL Architecture Architecture: Francesco Lipari and Giuseppe Conti Location: Favara (AG) Area: 320 m2 Year: 2016 Project Manager: Giuseppe Grova Client: Milia Arredamenti Realization: Falegnameria Leto srl, Lavorazioni metalliche Grano, Vivai Garlisi, GBR di Baldo srl Interactive Project: Blu Network Photos: Giuseppe Guarneri and Riccio Blu Recommended Reading:
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
- eBooks by Landscape Architects Network
Article by Lidija ŠusterPublished in