Location: Villa Necchi Campiglio, Milan (It) Client: The New York Times Style Magazine Team: Alessandra Covini, Giovanni Bellotti with Pawel Szubert, Mariana Fernandez, Marie Saladin, Arthur Schoonenberg, Miriam Asghdom, Lisa Hens, Hugo Lopez, Akina Yoshitake Lopez Partners: Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dedar Milano, POTAFIORI / FIORI di Rosalba Piccinni Engineering and Production: Luigi D’Oro Studio & Arguzia S.r.l. Light Design: Cosimo Masone Photographer: Altopiano, Federico Ciamei, Getty Images Year: 2019
Paper Gardens is a project for The New York Times Style Magazine, a scenography for T mag annual Salone del Mobile celebration which happens every year in the gardens of Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan. The project turns the grounds of the Villa, for a day, into a celebration marking the beginning spring, reflecting the springtime rituals around seeds and flowers seen across different cultures. It consists in a series of installations inspired by elements of the garden, in a scale between large architectural models and miniature buildings, with which guests could interact.
In the flower pavilion guests could pick bouquets inside a pink room filled with alliums and lilies among others, a surreal field of flowers from the world of agricultural, ornamental, and spontaneous plants. The pavilion, from outside, looks like an elevated crown, or a huge skirt, only revealing the legs of people within - a sort human-flower chimera. A few openings frame elements of the garden and of the villa, as if they emerge from a flower field in the spring.
The ‘step and repeat’, meant to photograph the procession of VIP guests at the entrance of the villa, was turned it into another installation with which guests could interact while taking photos. Three silhouettes, between hedges and distant hills, created the temporary facade of villa Necchi Campiglio, visible through the gate, the entrance to the villa on the street. Holes and clearings between the walls opened up to elements of the villa and the garden, while heaps of minerals emerged between the walls. We designed an array of curtains, blowing with the wind, created a scenography for the party, and was designed in collaboration with textile company Dedar Milano.
A series of Piñatas become another interactive installation for the guests: colorful off-scale models between silos and heaps, shaped like otherworldly farm buildings and filled with petals, seeds, expanded clay, different kind of soils, and surprise gifts. Some were hanging like blown up pollen or surreal seeds or composed around the garden like miniature planets.