A 5,000-square-metre oasis of green, hidden in the heart of Milan and part of Palazzo di Brera, the Botanical Garden was founded in 1774 during the rule of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, in order to teach botany. After the Napoleonic period, it was neglected until the end of the 20th century, when restoration work began through the work of the University of Milan, to which the Garden currently belongs.
Looking ahead to Expo 2015, Interni magazine promoted further renovation work, which was completed by the conservative restoration of a classroom inside the garden, to a design by architect Luca Scacchetti.
The primary goal for the project was to restore the location to its original function (teaching) by transforming the Classroom intended for botany lessons into a part of the natural setting, as explained by Luca Scacchetti: “The question was how to turn this 17th-century volume into a structure continuous with the Garden, focusing on the principle of eliminating any separation of views, both from inside and out”.
Therefore, natural elements were used to bring this vision to life, so that the entire structure could blend into the surrounding greenery. In this context, slabs from the DNA Urbano collection by Stone Italiana proved to be ideal. A perfect expression of the company’s approach, these surfaces are formulated using street sweeping dust. These recovered materials therefore become new raw materials, enabling energy savings and reducing costs for the disposal of inert materials that are usually considered as waste products.
The DNA Urbano slabs used for flooring offered a comprehensive response to the requirements involved in the design task: its appearance, very similar to that of a road surface, in fact seems to mirror (in terms of colour and texture) the gravel surfaces outside, thus eliminating the separation between interior and exterior.