Italy's MAXXI Museum has a colorful new courtyard filled with red "poppies". Italian firm stARTT (winners of the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program) designed the outdoor space, called “Whatami,” to incorporate a series of recyclable faux-nature pieces around the museum's architecture. Grassy knolls, gleaming pools and bright flowers create a serene resting place for visitors after a long day of perusing the museum.
StARTT found the stark stone courtyard of the MAXXI museum to be somewhat unwelcoming, so their idea was to add the cool comfort of nature to an otherwise green-deprived area. They constructed the artificial hills to act first as a garden that requires very little maintenance, yet infuses a breath of greenery into the area. The second function of the hills was to provide a relaxing gathering and sitting place. We all know how surprisingly tiring a day of walking around a museum can be, and Whatami provides a place to sprawl out and relax. Several wooden benches are built right into the side of the hills, which are much more comfortable than the standard metal variety! The hills can also be used by the museum to host entertainment, acting as a stage for concerts or special events.
Populating the “garden” are bright red artificial poppies. Reaching up to the sun, a dozen conical flowers are situated around the hills and reflect the sun’s ray. They also provide shaded areas for the revelers below. Shallow reflecting pools, located in between the hills, gently cool visitors and accentuate the faux –nature of the installation.
After the courtyard installation has run its course, the elements of Whatami will be recycled. The grass will be replanted in another area, and the floral poppy sculptures will be replanted in an abandoned part of the city that needs urban rehabilitation.
Via Cube Me
Images © Cesare Querci via stARTT