The Portello Park of Milan, designed by Charles Jencks and Andreas Kipar and developed by LAND Italia, commissioned by Iper Montebello Spa, was finally completed and now creates a green lung between Viale Serra and Viale De Gasperi, bringing the park to a total extension of approximately 73 thousand square metres.
The Alfa Romeo Industrial Park at Portello was built in lots from 2009-10, on the brownfield site of the 1980s. The first part was opened to citizens in 2011, followed by the second lot in 2015 and then in 2017.
Andreas Kipar, together with LAND S.r.l. and Charles Jencks – the great American landscape architect and leading theorist of modernism and postmodernism in landscape architecture who died in 2009 – structured the park from a series of circular spatial lines that form the construction lines of the three “green sculptures”. These are Mound1, Mound2, and Mound3, which, together with the small garden called Time Garden, represent different scans of time – Prehistory, History, Present and Individual Time.
From a morphological point of view, the park is developed at different heights and recovered through a system of paths called “Time Walk”. In a broader perspective of the relationship with the city, Portello park is also part of a green system of pedestrian and bicycle paths: the so-called “Green Rays” that, passing beyond the ring roads, connect the centre of Milan to the hinterland.
Today, the abandoned lot between viale Serra to the south-east, viale De Gasperi to the south-west and the park to the north has come back to the citizens.
The Moon Garden
The inspiration for the design of the latter part came from the astral bodies of the Sun and Moon and their interaction with the Earth: the name chosen for the new part of the park is, in fact, Moon Garden.
The park’s shape was inspired by Athanasius Kircher’s “Phases of the Moon” diagram, where the lunar cycle is represented as a double spiral for both hemispheres of the Earth. These shapes depict the duration of the moon’s visibility in the sky, rising and setting. The uphill spiral path features shaded resting places with benches.
Fifty trees, including maples, liriodendrons, lime trees, mulberry trees and soforas, alternate with 1,500 square metres of colourful flowerbeds with herbaceous and shrubby plants and groups of rhododendrons.
Portello Park is now a large green lung for the whole of Milan, a park where one can feel free to experience the rhythm of time because, as Jencks himself wrote in 2009: “Landscapes and gardens always bear the imprint of time on their surfaces, in their growth and decay“.