Milan 2013: bamboo trees sprouted up around a topographical landscape of stone and water at this installation created by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma in Milan last month.
As one of three architect-designed installations for the Urban Stories exhibition of contemporary living, Kengo Kuma's Naturescape was designed as an interpretation of a traditional Japanese Zen garden.
Cascading stone strata formed a series of undulating curves around the room. Pools of water formed at some of the lowest levels, while others contained clusters of bamboo trees planted in gravel.
"The clean and pure Pietra Serena stone is used so as to recreate a topography that, as in real landscapes, moulds the shape of water, guides our walking and gives a context to the objects to better admire them," says Kengo Kuma and Associates.
The installation was located in one of the buildings of the Porta Nuova Varesine complex, a new skyscraper district designed by architects including Cesar Pelli, Stefano Boeri and Nicholas Grimshaw. It was used as a showroom for furniture between 9 and 14 April, alongside spaces designed by Michele de Lucchi and Diego Grandi.
Photography is by Giovanni Desandre, apart from otherwise stated.
Here's some more information from the exhibition organisers:
In the spectacular skyline of Porta Nuova Varesine in Milan, on the occasion of the Fuorisalone collateral event, three exceptional architects are 'staging' three extraordinary suggestions of contemporary living.
Michele De Lucchi, Diego Grandi and Kengo Kuma, 'tell' their Urban Stories, through unique and thrilling installations, for an eagerly-awaited event, which supplements the busy schedule of Fuorisalone events.
Urban Stories, organised by MoscaPartners, with the collaboration of Hines, is a spin-off from the extraordinary success of Bologna Water Design 2012, the exclusive event dedicated to water design, which involved the city's most prestigious venues during the Cersaie show in September.
The limelight is therefore cast on Urban Stories and its stars, who thanks to the enthusiastic participation of major leading companies in a variety of industries will give rise to charming captivating set-ups.
The focus of Urban Stories is the Porta Nuova Varesine complex, which is the result of an ambitious urban and architectural replanning project involving large areas of the Isola, Varesine and Garibaldi districts, developed and implemented by famous architects, including Cesar Pelli, Stefano Boeri and Nicholas Grimshaw, under the direction of Hines Italia Sgr, promoter and investor.
The original installations created by Michele De Lucchi, Diego Grandi and Kengo Kuma will transform the important display spaces of the 'new centre of Milan' into an exceptional cultural box, ready to welcome the curious multifarious public who animates the most important and eagerly-awaited international design event every year.
Urban Stories are therefore not just simple installations, but proper 'seductions', resulting from a sensitive way of designing to imagine the landscape within our cities and outside them.