Bergamo · Italy
6-23 September 2018

Plant Landscape

The 2018 Edition proposes a return from the general to the particular – from the kaleidoscope that the word ‘landscape’ comprises to that which forms the basis of any landscape: plants.
The billions of plants to be found on our planet play a key role in improving microclimatic conditions, in counteracting pollution, in consolidating the soil and in regulating water courses. When they are taken out of their natural habitat and used as natural raw material in the making of a garden, a park, a small or large scale urban landscape, they show an inability to play the protagonist’s role that they had in nature.

Once subtracted from their wild natural habitat or from the domesticated nature of a nursery, in order to become the protagonists of a new life, plants need the support of a conscious and fundamental action: the project. So it is obvious that any landscape project cannot ignore the careful and conscious design of the green element.
A project that uses knowledge of the composition of the landscape, starting from the naturalistic intelligence that manifests itself in love and absolute knowledge of plants, leads us to think of the talent of the plant designer unanimously recognized as the absolute authority in his field: Piet Oudolf (NL).

Piet Oudolf

Oudolf considers garden design to be “not just plants, but above all emotion, atmosphere, sense of contemplation”. It isn’t by chance that the New Perennial movement, represented by the Oudolf style, tends to reproduce natural landscape motifs in ways that the brain unconsciously recognizes. Further than merely emulating the natural landscape, the garden designer captures its atmosphere, reproducing visible signs: soft undulations, strips of diverse species/colonies/communities of plants put together like brush strokes on canvas, neutral backgrounds of grasses on which darker plants stand out, verticality that contrasts with curvature. Thus different landscapers, working in different environments with different plants, are able to reproduce landscapes with similar characteristics.
To the mastery and skill of Oudolf – with his ability to capture the poetry of a river and a metropolis in his extraordinary realization of the New York High Line – is entrusted to the project for Green Square 2018. What composition of plants – in dialogue with the scenery of the historic heart of Bergamo Alta, within the unique framework Piazza Vecchia – will welcome the emotions, the atmosphere and the sense contemplation where history, architecture and nature have been coming together for centuries?