A historical botanical garden in Milan transformed into an energy park that’s full of copper and possibilities. It’s a public exhibit that anyone can visit to learn more about different types of sustainable energy.

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A garden/playground filled with copper pipings

The exhibit is called “Feeling the Energy” and it was designed to be part of Milan Design Week. For the exhibit, the botanical garden was filled with six main stages. These are the energy carousel, the garden orchestra, the leading logo, the powering vibrations, blinds in the sun and the solar garden. Each of these different areas are devoted to sustainable energy.

Related: Wake up and smell the sun-powered coffee brewing in Dubai

Copper pipes placed in a garden

Furthermore, the exhibit was designed in copper, which creates an amazing look. That’s not all it does. The copper design actually stores solar energy and lights up the pathways at night. The installation also powers the water vaporizing that cools the garden down. Along the path, there is an enormous vibraphone that anyone can play. There’s also a tunnel with photovoltaic panels. CRA-Carlo Ratti Associates and Italo Rota collaborated on this project to transform the historic Orto Botanico. Furthermore, Plenitude was the project’s client and KME as the manufacturer of the copper tubes.

Copper pipes bent into shapes in a garden space

According to Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of MIT Senseable City Lab, “the installation is inspired by the functioning of plant organisms.” What does that mean? It means that throughout the exhibit, everything works together and everything is connected.

A pathway with copper piping and a girl walking through it

Moreover, the project shows what a self-sufficient energy infrastructure looks like in the real world and demonstrates exactly what it can do. Once the exhibit is over, all the copper will be dismantled and ultimately reused for other projects for a circular design.

Mist coming out of copper pipes in a garden

Renewable energy is more important than ever and people are starting to pay attention to that. This display in Milan is about increasing knowledge and awareness of different sustainable energy techniques. It’s about showing what’s possible and that’s what makes it important. Because a cleaner, better future is possible. Exhibits like this prove it.

+ Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota

Photography by Marco Beck Peccoz