Landscape Testaccio | Rome Italy | Melania Bugiani


In the old abattoir of Rome- today the Museum of Contemporary Art- two public gardens dealing with botanical spontaneity. On the occasion of Enel contemporanea 2012, an international art event that takes place in Rome annually, 75m of evergreens, perennial herbs and impromptu flowers alternate in volume and density and translate the vitality and ecological memory of the old meat district of Testaccio.


The gardens are located along two main corridors of the abattoir, an example of 19th century Italian, urban architecture. This permanent landscape installation composes the north and south sides, interacting with the main piece of Enel award, ‘Big Bambù’ by Mike and Doug Starn.

The abattoir is a National Industrial Heritage site of Rome, creating a unique design challenge with strict legislative/planning criteria. The gardens do not physically modify the original architectural features. Instead, they powerfully interact with the quality of the space, creating intensity and contemporary scenarios.

A new morphology of stressed sediments emphasise the modification of the original cobbled floor, already a place of wilderness processes. The gardens are designed to communicate the positive aesthetic value of these spontaneous botanical episodes through an acknowledging and over- writing planting strategy.

The gardens, will act in seasonal modifications of volumes, densities, textures, colours and flowering. The planting plan is specifically designed to be completed by the spontaneous growth of wild seeds from the surrounding environment. This encompasses local hereditary plants that have survived in areas of the abattoir, such as cereals for the feeding of the animals, and further biotopes such as the banks of the river Tiber.
Landscape Testaccio | Rome Italy | Melania Bugiani

c/o MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Italy.
Finished the 12.11th.2012
Botanical expert advice: dott.Bruna Pollio; dott.agr.Marco Fabbri