MAIN CONCEPT: Installed for the first time at on the rooftop of “Palazzo dei Congressi “ in Rome, Saint Horto is the first prototype of an interactive garden that creates an ideal synergy between architecture, nature, music and social technologies.
Architecture has a key role: the asymmetric but well-proportioned spaces , which are uneven but harmonious at the same time, create unusual tactile, olfactory and visual perspectives designed to provide a deep sensorial experience that could be suitable for children too. When you go into the Saint Horto, you are immersed in a dynamic space characterized by a sequence of solid and empty triangulations that provides mainly educational functions.
Second Award | RTFA 2014 Awards
Category: Landscape Built
Participant Name: Federico Giacomarra
Cultivation areas, sonic harps, dining seating and an interactive lighting system alternate within 31 triangular tanks . Furthermore, an accurate study on 93 nodes allows the project to have different triangulations that increase, in this way, its own technical complexity and originality.
Saint Horto was an attempt to conceive together many different aspects in order to produce an innovation in terms of the perception of urban farming, the attitude toward roof-top gardening and an exploration in the language of contemporary architecture, between technology and craft, atmosphere and design.
SONIC PROJECT: The sound design of St Horto is part of the idea of organic unity too. The main objective was to design not only a space but an environment as whole. This was done through the design of the garden but also through the creation of an atmosphere: the design of the sounds and music in the garden. Environmental parameters were mapped to produce interactive digital sounds.
There is no sampled timbres but all sounds are generated in real time through subtractive synthesis and physical patterns synthesis. The music is then modulated on environmental variables captured by a weather station installed in the garden: the variations in wind speed creates clusters of sounds, the temperature influences the timbre of voices, the humidity changes the sound with echoes and reverberations.
Anyway the melody reveal itself just through the human interaction. Sonic harps, provided with sensors that can detect the touch, are installed in the garden. The same sensors are also attached on some vegetables.
If someone touch plant racks, harps or vegetables that will produce notes allowing to improvise music. By touching once any plant racks, harps or vegetables in a few seconds the garden goes in “resonance” and plays the melody without any manipulation.
INTERACTIVE PROJECT: Another main feature of St Horto is its integration with the “objects web” world. Infact was installed a new technological system that allows the monitoring of the plants in real time and a “social“ irrigation management by connecting with Twitter and Paraimpu (www.paraimpu.com). Management of the garden can be made online using several preset message such as: #sthorto drop on (to activate irrigation) or #sthorto drop off (to deactivate it). Tools: Environmental sensors to measure soil moisture, temperature, air humidity, light. Solenoid valves and sprinklers, Arduino and other programmable electronic tools, Monitoring Webcams via Paraimpu.