Competing Projects 2021 - Winner
Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain
L'Architecture des arbres
Initially conceived in 1982 by Italian architects Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi, “L’Architecture des arbres” is a large-format book resulting from a legendary botanical and architectural study. It brings together over 550 drawings of 212 species of trees drawn on a scale of 1:100, with and without foliage, as well as diagrams depicting the projections of shadows and plates presenting seasonal color variations. The book also contains 393 descriptions for each family, genus and species of tree, illustrated by drawings of leaves, flowers and fruits, completing a study that lasted over twenty years.
The impressive and ample dimensions of the very first edition have been kept in order to publish all the plates on a scale of 1:100 – a loose ruler within the book allows the reader to know immediately the size of each tree reproduced on the pages. In order to reveal the beauty, the poetry and amazing preciseness of the original drawings made with Chinese ink, all the inner pages have been printed with an Intense Black and a stochastic screening. The Takeo Satogami (cover) and the Arcoprint Milk (inner pages) were both chosen to remind the evocative power and tactile pleasure specific to the first edition – out of print and now hard to find.
The Authors: Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi
Between 1963 and 1983, architects and designers Cesare Leonardi (b. 1935) and Franca Stagi (1937-2008) directed a studio in Modena (Italy). They were known for their design of the celebrated Nastro, Eco and Dondolo chairs. Between 1970 and 1980, they turned their attention to architectural projects for parks and collective structures in and around Modena, the starting point of their ambitious study of trees.