Imagine walking from a winter wonderland into a sunny, summer paradise with just a few steps. Or what if you could control the weather, adjusting the temperature or making it rain on command? Scientists and architects are getting close with a garden where all four seasons happen under one roof and a cloud that can rain on cue. These creations combine natural beauty and art to help draw attention to the importance of caring for the environment. We’re forecasting a 90 percent chance of groundbreaking technology and a 100 percent chance of awesomeness.
Four Seasons Garden
Carlo Ratti is turning his imagination into reality everyone can enjoy with a large biodome that recreates all four seasons under one roof. The Italian architect’s design will be as stunning as it is sustainable. The Garden of the Four Seasons is set to be enclosed under a solar-powered roof. Solar panels will provide power to the 2,500-square-foot building. The garden will require innovative climate-control technology to create the four specific atmospheres of winter, summer, fall and spring.
Ratti’s climate controlled gardens will be built in a park in Milan. Visitors will enter the spring pavilion and progress through each season. The different environments will be carefully regulated with water levels, temperature, humidity and plants adjusted seasonally.
Global climate change helped motivate Ratti to pursue this ambitious project. He views the Four Seasons Garden as a potential solution to the extreme climate changes around the world. An ecosystem that’s both controlled and sustainable, like the Four Seasons Garden, could become a new technique to help preserve and protect plant life that’s affected by changing weather patterns.
The four seasons will be divided into individual pavilions within the larger, enclosed garden space. Solar panels will be used to power the climate controlled areas with the help of a heat exchanger. A heat exchanging device will heat the summer pavilion and cool the winter space at the same time in an energy-efficient way. The plastic divisions in between each season will include temperature control sensors to help regulate the space as people move through the seasons.
It’s not always cloudy in Springfield, Missouri but there’s always a chance of rain. The Cloud House is a small, simple pavilion. Inside, a couple of rocking chairs face the windows where people can relax and enjoy the rain. Artist Matthew Mazzotta’s creation is designed to release collected rainwater whenever someone sits inside the building. Rainwater drains into a gutter system that funnels water into an underground tank. When someone is sitting in the rocking chair, the water is pumped into the cloud. Visitors enjoy the pitter-patter of raindrops hitting the roof and window panes create a space to slow down and rest. The Cloud House also reminds people how important the environment is. When there’s no water, like during times of drought, the Cloud House does not rain.