Here's something you won't see every day. World renowned architect Dominique Perrault planted eight giant metal trees in the heart of Naples. His new and very unusual Piazza Garibaldi, which measures roughly 635,000 square feet, is actually a gigantic open-air arcade partly built 26 feet below street level. Featuring impressive steel struts and shaded by huge lattice leaves of engineered steel, the project promises to become an iconic new destination in the Italian city.
Besides providing new great urban space for the city and commercial gallery, Piazza Garibaldi links the underground metro station and nearby Central railway station of Naples. From here the aesthetics of the striking triangular pattern of Perrault’s architecture recalls the motif of the Napoli Centrale roof dating back to 1954 and designed by the famed Italian engineer Pier Luigi Nervi.
Inside, Piazza Garibaldi is a dynamic criss-cross underground space comprised of blinking signs, reflective surfaces and moving escalators.
What is particularly curious about Perrault’s design is that it brings natural light 40 meters below the ground level. Thanks to the various cuts and to the huge central shaft linking the piazza and metro station located beneath it, natural light penetrates all the way down to the metro tracks – it’s quite a challenging and daring idea to convey sun rays deep underground.
The Piazza Garibaldi and its visually light metal structure emerges as a huge work of art. The advanced engineering was developed by Dominique Perrault in collaboration with Bollinger + Grohmann and CESMA.
Images courtesy of Dominique Perrault Architecture