The Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid hosts Feeling the Energy, the installation created for Plenitude by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati with Italo Rota, resented at the FuoriSalone in Milan 2022

Until November 13, the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid hosts Feeling the Energy, an interactive project by CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati, in collaboration with Italo Rota, created for Plenitude and first set up a tthe  Orto Botanico di Brera, in Milan last June.

The Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid is a study center linked to the CSIC, the Superior Council of Scientific Research, belonging to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

The FuoriSalone at the Semana de la Ciencia y la Innovación

For the first time, in fact, a large installation from the FuoriSalone is presented in Spain, part of the Interni Design Re-Generation exhibition set up last June during the Milan Design Week.

The event takes place on the occasion of the Semana de la Ciencia y la Innovación in Madrid (7-20 November), a busy schedule of meetings and activities that every year, in autumn, animates the Spanish capital.

The CEO of Plenitude, Stefano Goberti, commented: “Our presence at the Real Jardín Botánico is a source of great pride for us, an occasion for celebration in the context of the Semana de la Ciencia y la Innovación de Madrid 2022 and a homage to Spain that welcomed us. Feeling the Energy is a multisensory installation that reflects Plenitude's strategic commitment to contribute to the progressive decarbonisation of the electricity sector in Spain, to the energy transition path undertaken by Eni, to Plenitude's ambitious goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 and to provide 100% decarbonised energy to all its customers ".

An evolution of the FuoriSalone 2022 installation

The project is conceived as an evolution of the homonymous installation created for Milan Design Week 2022 at the Brera Botanical Garden and develops in continuity with the natural context of the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid, blending the surrounding landscape with artificial elements.

By reusing the same components of the previous installation, about 500 meters of copper pipe by KME recreate a dynamic line that seems to sprout and re-enter the ground at different points in the garden.

Along this path, it is possible to experiment with different forms of sustainable energy, interacting with the elements and their multiple uses to produce sound, light, evaporative cooling, in an interactive experience.

All this creates a 'living' energy park, capable of changing over time and delivering the experience of the previous one to the next installation.

An experimentation on circular design that has lasted for years

"In recent years, together with Plenitude, we have explored different ways in which design can promote new approaches to circularity", explain the architects Carlo Ratti and Italo Rota, who signed the project.

"In particular, this installation in Madrid continues the reflection started during FuoriSalone 2022. Starting with the Interni Design Re-Generation exhibition, this energy park continues to live in new spaces, pushing forward the horizon of temporary events".

The location: the Real Jardín Botánico

The Spanish stage of Feeling the Energy is hosted in the splendid setting of the Real Jardín Botánico: eight hectares of greenery in the heart of the capital, part of the Paisaje de la Luz, along the Paseo del Prado - Parco del Retiro, declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2021 .

It is a historic, neoclassical garden, inaugurated in 1781 by King Charles III based on a project by the Italian Francesco Sabatini and Juan de Villanueva, the latter also author of the adjacent building which has housed the Prado Museum since 1819 - born as a Cabinet of natural sciences - and connected to the botanical garden and the astronomical observatory, not far away.

The installation message

"The Feeling the Energy project, promoted by Plenitude and created by the CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati studio with Italo Rota, combines art and sustainability, two essential aspects in a historic botanical garden", declares Esteban Manrique, director of the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid and researcher of the CSIC (Superior Council of Scientific Research, an organization dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation).

"Art is the basis for the creation of a historical landscape; sustainability is the fundamental principle for maintaining a green space in the city that absorbs carbon dioxide and provides the citizen with well-being and relaxation. Climate change is forcing us to be increasingly responsible in our actions and energy choices , also through the cultivation of plant species that can store a large amount of carbon dioxide in their structure".

"The Feeling The Energy installation", concludes the director Manrique, who is a botanist who studies plant ecology, in particular of the effects that global changes produce in the global ecosystem, "is interesting both as an architectural / design proposal and as a project of an educational nature. A structure powered by solar panels that self-produce clean energy shows us what our potential is in terms of environmental sustainability".

The patronage of the Italian Embassy in Madrid

The initiative received the patronage of the Embassy of Italy in Madrid.

During the inauguration, the Italian ambassador in Madrid Riccardo Guariglia said: "The Embassy has decided to support this project because this peculiar installation draws our attention to the importance of sustainability, energy, the circular economy, science and innovation, beauty, harmony with nature, our habitat.

"It should be noted that it is also a project open to citizens promoted by an important Italian company, Eni Plenitude, whose presence in Spain is very important and growing and whose activity will undoubtedly contribute to the achievement of national objectives linked to decarbonisation.

"From a design point of view, this copper installation was created by the studio of Carlo Ratti, a famous Italian architect, professor at MIT and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, linked to Rome's candidacy for Expo 2030.

"A country candidacy, whose pillars are based on sustainability and urban regeneration, which for today's society is a real need recognized also at the level of the United Nations.

"I would also like to thank the Interni Magazine delegation led by its director Gilda Bojardi, who worked hard to make this project possible in Spain: a magazine with which the Embassy maintains a very long history of collaboration, promoting a call for projects carried out every year. by young Spanish designers, prototyped by Italian companies and also presented at the Fuorisalone. Collaboration that we want to deepen and continue to develop ".

Photo credits: Marco Beck Peccoz