The architect who draws with the trees

There is a measure, of participation and distance together, of discreet active protagonism.

Which is rarely encountered in that widespread category of books that aspire to tell in subjective their creative work by those who are dedicated to imagining and creating gardens, with result mostly to slip to inventariar catalogs.

Instead, he manages to convey the sense of a passion that becomes a profession – and paradoxically without resorting to any photographic documentation, evoking only at times the character of his interventions for gardens, without the pretension to describe them – the architect who “draws with trees “, As defined by Marco Bay in his story of experiences, in fact, Draw with trees. Stories of gardens , Mondadori, pp. 174, € 17.00.

Bay puts us aside from the progress of his work by sharing predilections and idiosyncrasies, from the premises of an education of the look in the places of childhood to the encounter with the teachers, ideas and practice (Geoffrey Jellicoe and Nena Balsari Berrone), all ‘ inspiration draws from time to time landscapes and gardens pursued in travel (the revolutionary rigor of the Parc Citroën , the synesthesias of the elsewhere in the Japanese gardens, the neo pop of Christopher Lloyd in Great Dixter ).

With an approach always straddling the natural dimension and practices of artifice, in a tight dialectic between echoes and suggestions of what pre-exists and giving however inspiration to the indispensable need to give shape, to add the sign of the contemporary. Tuning wild, tradition and domestic urban. In an interlocut with several voices with places, stories, symbologies and people (not least the client whose dream is called to fulfill) also witnessed, in the illustration of specific interventions, that often micro-accounts are made, from the prevalence of the lexical vault vaulting – paraphrasing – emphasizing, privileging, adding or subtracting, revisiting and contaminating. While still experimenting, sometimes on tiptoe, mostly in continuity, but also forcing out of estrangement, as in the case of palms and bananas introduced in Piazza Duomo in Milan.

Proceeding from garden to garden, emerges a sort of reconnaissance of the inventive modulating the geography of artifice places, from the exotic prealpine lakes to the silversides of the Ligurian terraces, from Versilia to Chianti, to the green of the city, to the curvilinear forest of 3,500 carpini designed for the Pirelli Foundation at Bicocca around a parterre of grasses lined up for variety.

A story telling where the craft, even in the backstage of the studio, the technique of the project, the nursery and the building site, meets the debate on the themes of the ecology of urban plant networks, public space, the inspiring role of art. Giving account of a practice, knowledge and know-how that better than any other is measured in the viaticum of the concluding thanks to the volume, among others, to many collaborators, artisans and professionals – carpenters, tinsmiths, smiths, bronzesmiths, nurserymen , gardeners – and “to the people who grow the trees I planted”.