Milan’s Library of Trees returning an area of the city to nature

Milan’s Porta Nuova district is fast-gaining a reputation for innovation, sustainable living and plantlife it appears. Not only is the area home to the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) botanical-themed residential tower blocks, it also recently welcomed the opening of the Biblioteca degli Alberi (Library of Trees).

Sitting at the foot of the Bosco Verticale, Biblioteca degli Alberi contains a diverse library of plant and tree life – with over 135,000 plants that include 100 different species and 500 trees.

Designed by Dutch studio Inside Outside as a new type of public park, Biblioteca degli Alberi has an open layout composed of unconventionally-shaped fields and a geometric pattern of intertwining paths.

The park, with neither gates nor borders spans 24 acres, is covered by a web of colliding linear paths, irregular fields and circular forests.

Designers Inside Outside wanted to create “a park that represents a modern version of the Botanic Garden”. The planting design for the fields is composed of a series of carefully selected species. Each plot offers a different type of growth and programme. Circular forests are scattered over the site and will grow into roofs of foliage of different color and structure that float above the park.

Walking through the park there are ever-changing fields of flower meadows, lawns, shrubs, ornamental plants, aromatic plants, a labyrinth and a pond, offering a parade of perfumes and colours. The circular groupings of trees, distributed as confetti inside the park, form unique plant pavilions, consisting of 22 tree species and designed to host specific programmes.

According to Inside Outside, the uniqueness of this park lies in combining flora and fauna with a rich programme of functions. While the distinct ecological habitats are designed to attract insects, bees, birds and frogs, the various fields and plant pavilions are equipped to host activities such as play, sport, relaxation, meetings, events and events.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at


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