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a walk through The park’s footpath is made of soft resin and weaves through five raised garden plots. The largest, in blue, incorporates a curved ledge for sitting. 68 may 2012

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E N ZI G A A M E R A ZU F O TY R PE O PR

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THE PARK

Spanish firm Nabito Architects & Partners winds a sensational path through a small park that plays on all five human senses By Leonora Sartori

MAY 2012 69


in frosinone, a small town an hour’s drive southeast of rome, an urban

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park has turned a forgotten plot of land into a highly tuned sensory experience. Called Sensational Garden, the 2,000-square-metre parcel is packed with plant life carefully delineated by raised circular beds and a winding footpath that invites visitors to slow down their pace and take in the mini-­ecosystem of sights, smells and sensations. It’s the work of Alessandra Faticanti and Roberto Ferlito, who founded their Barcelona studio, Nabito Architects & Partners, in 2006. The same year, the firm made the list of 20 top young architects to watch by France’s ministry of culture. Sensational Garden is among their first major completed projects; it’s also the first step toward Frosinone’s plan to revive public spaces in neighbourhoods where greenery has been in short supply for decades. “Our intent was to fill that social void with an explosive, playful and interactive intimate room,” says Ferlito about the park, which currently faces onto a main thoroughfare and an abandoned residential block that has grown wild from neglect. Ferlito describes the new park as a “sensory-driven” oasis, where all five senses have been intricately worked into the scheme. Along the winding path made of soft white resin, micro-landscapes are embedded into circular concrete plots measuring eight to 11.2 metres in diameter. Within the five plots, you can taste aromatic herbs or pluck apples from trees. Patches of grass encourage visitors to enjoy an outdoor nap or catch the scent of lavender, rosemary and mint blowing on the wind. A series of stainless steel tubes with bugle-like heads playfully amplifies sound. Sing into one end, and the decibels travel through another tube buried 50 metres away. “We wanted the park to become a public living room where people feel like it’s their own personal space,” says Ferlito. So far, the scheme has worked. During the opening, residents made themselves right at home by kicking off their shoes and walking barefoot along the curved pathway.

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Dozens of plantings, including lavender, mint and rosemary, fill the 2,000-squaremetre park, along with apple and gingko trees. “We wanted it to be a public living room where people feel like it’s their own personal space,” says Roberto Ferlito, principal of Nabito.

pine mulch grass

lemon tree

bamboo

cherry plum tree

pebbles

orange tree

pear tree apricot tree peach tree

sand

ginkgo tree

white rose yellow rose red rose

bamboo

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