Urban Stories: contemporary references in the spaces of the future

Michele De Lucchi, Diego Grandi and Kengo Kuma's installations

by Malcolm Clark
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In the spectacular skyline of Porta Nuova Varesine in Milan, during the current edition of the Fuorisalone, three special architects 'stage' three fascinating examples of contemporary living. Michele De Lucchi, Diego Grandi and Kengo Kuma, 'tell' their Urban Stories through unique and emotional installations, for one of the most eagerly awaited events which enriches the already full calendar of events at the Fuorisalone.

Urban Stories, organized by MoscaPartners in partnership with Hines, comes in the wake of the extraordinary success of Bologna Water Design, 2012, the exclusive event dedicated water design, which, during the Cersaie in September, involved the most prestigious places of the city.

So the spotlight is on Urban Stories and its protagonists, which, thanks to the enthusiastic participation of leading companies in different sectors, will create fascinating and engaging installations. The fulcrum of Urban Stories is the Porta Nuova Varesine complex, created from the ambitious urban and architectural regeneration project of large areas of the neighbourhoods Isola, Varesine and Garibaldi, developed and built by famous architects like 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 exhibition spaces of the 'new centre of Milan' into an exceptional cultural container, ready to welcome the diverse and curious public that every year flock to the most important and eagerly-awaited event of international design. Urban Stories, not only, therefore, simple installations, but 'seductions', born from a sensitive design to imagine the landscape inside and outside our cities.

The 'Urban Stories':

Kengo Kuma - Naturescape

by Agape, Frassinagodiciotto, Il Casone, Oikos, Pratic, Tribù and Vaselli, light designer Davide Groppi

'Water is a powerful sculptor. Stone is a patient material. Water can turn even the hardest materials into something soft and delicate but ... stone traces the path'. 'Naturescape' the visionary installation designed by Kengo Kuma, depicts the long history between two opposing elements that, together, have shaped our world: water and stone. The 'green' created by the harmonious union of the two elements is the protagonist of this evocative installation, inspired by the Japanese Zen garden. A lush bamboo forest comes to life amongst stone, gravel and water.

Once again Kengo Kuma gives us a striking installation which cleverly uses combinations of natural elements - stone, plants, water, bamboo, gravel - to create dreamlike images of a Japanese garden, inviting the visitor to experience the elegance, tranquility and wisdom of Zen simplicity evoked by the space.

Michele De Lucchi – Paesaggio fa rima con saggio

by Kaldewei, Oikos, Platek Light and Vaselli

'Paesaggio fa rima con saggio, and everything is landscape, inside and outside our cities, inside and outside our architecture, our homes, our rooms. We are part and parcel of the landscape and our mental state is directly related to our ability to interact with what is around us, the cultural and civil context. Basically, at the end, it is the landscape in our head, in our imagination, that gives us emotions and gratification. The landscape that we want and that, like it or not, represents us.'

Diego Grandi - Watercolors

by Oikos, Platek Light and Zucchetti.Kos

'What colour is water? A question with many and enigmatic answers, filtered by experience, by the evocation of an image, a place, a memory. Or simply by observing a daily ritual: a glass, a bottle, a vase. Clear water, cloudy water, turquoise water, clean, dark, blue, deep... '

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    Area Garibaldi-Repubblica 43

    Area Garibaldi-Repubblica

    Milan / Italy / 2012