The New Botanical Garden in Padua, an extension - signed by VS Associates - is the oldest university botanical garden in the world.
To represent the great biodiversity of plant species, the project is a large showcase that illustrates an ideal section of the globe, from the equator degrading towards the poles. From the most favorable conditions for life with abundant humidity and high temperatures that make the rainforest grow to the most extreme conditions where cold and low humidity make life almost impossible.The building, which houses the new five greenhouses, looks like a single glass plane, 100 meters long and 18 meters high, thanks to the development of a new fixing system for the plates that does not include external profiles.
The architecture, with a strong visual impact, is positioned in a context of the highest historical value, visually connecting the complex of Santa Giustina and Sant'Antonio, and reinterpreting the compositional rules of the sixteenth-century setting of the ancient Hortus cintus.
The new building has earned the nickname "Garden of Wonders" not only for its majestic beauty, but also for the degree of innovation. As the designer explains, it was "conceived as a large leaf that breathes, that produces oxygen, which opens and closes to regulate its temperature". An app detects and interprets the oxygenation and temperature values of the plants and creates the correct climate.