Fiat transforms Lingotto rooftop track in hanging garden
Italian carmaker Fiat has transformed its historical test track on the rooftop of the Lingotto factory in Turin, dating back to 1922, into Europe’s largest hanging garden. As a sign of Fiat’s will to become 100% electric, only EVs, bicycles, and electric scooters will exclusively be allowed on the garden track, rebaptized ‘La Pista 500’.
The Pista 500 roof garden was inaugurated on Wednesday together with the ‘Casa 500’ museum on the 4th floor of the Pinacoteca Agnelli, all on the rooftop of the historic factory where Fiat cars were made and tested until 1982.
40 000 plants
The hanging garden is the work of the architect Benedetto Camerana and Cristiana Ruspa, a botanic specialist from the Giardino Segreto firm. It covers the entire 1,2 km former test track with “a succession of blooms and colors according to the seasons in a linear park layout.”
Some 40 000 plants were used to cover 7 000 square meters of 27 000 m2 rooftop. The track itself is reworked to safeguard its history and will be open only to electric cars, bicycles, and electric scooters in the future. Fiat intends to become 100% electric the moment prices of EVs approach those of ICE cars somewhere between 2025 and 2030, said Fiat CEO, Olivier François.
According to the press release, the rooftop gardens are designed in themed areas just like Baroque gardens. “This modern version proposes new spaces, each one different from the next: from meditation and yoga, a running track and fitness area, to infographics on the landscape and monuments of the city, and spaces for art shared with the Pinacoteca Agnelli.”
Art gallery and museum
The latter is an art gallery on the rooftop, a steel and glass construction of 34 meters high representing a kind of crystal spaceship, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano who also signed for the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
It was built in 2002 to host part of the private art collection of Giovanni and Marella Agnelli with paintings and sculptures of Manet, Matisse, Canaletto, Tiepolo, Canova, Picasso, and Modigliani, among others.
Fiat now added a dedicated museum space on the fourth floor with an extended view over the Pista 500. “The Casa 500 exhibition is set out around a highly symbolic central tree, also made of recycled wood. A tree that represents the continuity of history, between the roots – the past – and the future.”
At the foot of that tree, you’ll find the mask of the legendary 1957 Fiat 500 and the latest in the lineup of the iconic car, a New (500) RED. This special red series of the 500 contributes money through the RED brand-licensing company for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
RED was founded by U2 foreman Bono and American activist, attorney, and journalist Robert Shriver in 2006 to raise money for scientific research into these deadly diseases. “Today, that cavalry is also fighting the urgent threat of COVID-19 and its devastating impact on the world’s most vulnerable communities, answering the need for a truly global response,” says Fiat.
The Casa 500 exhibition is divided into 8 themed areas. Legacy is an immersive space of photos and videos, where visitors are taken back to the start of the 500’s journey, in 1957. Made of Italy shows twelve industrial products that stand for Italian design.
Other areas are ‘Boom’ looking back to the 1950s of Fellini’s Dolce Vita, ‘Ego’ jumping fifty years beyond to the first decade of the new millennium, ‘Ethical’ focusing on the current decade, ‘Social relevance’ of the 500’s history, a poster gallery of its communication through the years, a ‘3 Generations’ comparing section and others.