Note Design Studio reuses the Vestre trade fair stand to form an indoor park installation

Vestre is showcasing a collection of street furniture that encourages biodiversity at this year’s Milan Design Week, in a leafy installation built by Note Design Studio from one of the brand’s former stands.

Located in a warehouse in the Tortona district, the display reuses the same hollow bricks, stone chips and polycarbonate panels that previously formed the award-winning booth the duo created for the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2020.

The installation is formed from a reused Vestre fair stand (above and above)

The materials were stored in Vestre‘s in Sweden for 19 months before being shipped to Milan. Here they are joined by a meadow and a family of small shrubs and trees transplanted from a local nursery to form a kind of miniature indoor park housing the new Range of habitats.

Reusing the materials and transporting them to Italy, rather than buying them from scratch, has avoided not only waste but also a considerable amount of carbon emissions, the company claims.

“Transportation accounts for less than five percent of all emissions from materials sourcing,” CEO Jan Christian Vestre told Dezeen.

“It would have been so much more energy and CO2 demanding to throw away the materials in Stockholm and make new ones in Italy.”

Brick wall in Vestre's installation at Milan Design Week
Uncemented hollow bricks are laid out in a winding landscape

In total, 90 percent of the original stand materials were reused, with the exception of the plywood walls and a number of functional metal components.

Note Design Studio transformed the polycarbonate ceiling panels into diffusers for the austere industrial warehouse lights, while the stone shards were again used for the floor.

The uncemented bricks, which formed a linear grid of walls in the original configuration, were reimagined in a meandering landscape for Vestre’s presence in Milan.

Red brick wall with insect hotels and artificial hill by Note Design Studio
Small trees and shrubs were transplanted into the facility from a local nursery

“We wanted to create a room within a room, so the building materials were actually perfect for that,” explained Note Design Studio lead architect Jesper Mellgren.

“The bricks are not attached, they are just connected by metal bars, so they are very easy to take apart.”

Both the original bracket and the reimagined installation are examples of a reversible design, which means that they have been constructed in such a way that they can be easily taken apart and reused.

Bench with pile of stones by Vestre at Milan Design Week
Living meadow covers the ground next to reused stone chips

After Milan Design Week, the greenery will be returned to nature and the stones will be donated to a local landscape project. Note Design Studio hopes to build a permanent installation from the bricks.

“The whole concept was to create a stand that you can take apart without damaging the materials so that each can be reused,” added studio co-founder Johannes Carlström.

“Now the idea is to build something permanent, maybe a sculpture in a park or a small orangery, because those bricks are good enough to let in moisture.”

Inside the Milanese installation is the work of Vestre Habitats collection, created in collaboration with Arde and Rethinking Studio as well as a team of expert biologists.

The range of outdoor furniture has been designed to provide a refuge for urban flora and fauna, in the hope of avoiding the rapid decline in biodiversity while bringing city dwellers closer to nature.

Among the rooms are two benches designed to enclose piles of rocks or branches, creating a range of different habitats in otherwise flat and homogeneous parks.

Insect hotel next to a small tree in Note Design Studio's Habitats installation
The Habitats de Vestre collection includes insect hotels in the shape of a leaf

The log bench, for example, is specially designed to fit around fallen tree trunks and other dead wood, integrating it into the landscape and allowing those sitting on the bench to witness the process. natural decay while creating a hotbed for fungi, lichens, mosses and insects.

The collection also includes nesting boxes for birds as well as insect hotels in the shape of stylized leaves, with perforations of different sizes suitable for different species.

“We want to bridge the gap between nature and people,” Vestre explained. “It’s about bringing nature back to cities, taking care of biodiversity, taking care of these species before it’s too late.”

Plants on red brick plinths
Red bricks were also used as plinths for plants

The collection is constructed from locally sourced and responsible Scandinavian pine as well as “the greenest steel possible”, courtesy of the Swedish manufacturer SSAB.

“Steel has a carbon footprint 30% lower than the global average,” Vestre explained. “That’s 20 percent recycled content and made with renewable energy and more energy efficient ovens.”

“But it’s not like it’s emission-free,” he added. “That’s why the most important contribution we can make is actually to design things to last forever.”

Exterior of Vestra habitat installation at Milan Design Week
The installation is hosted in a warehouse in Tortona as part of Milan Design Week

All Vestre products are backed by a lifetime warranty so they can be serviced and used for as long as possible.

This is part of the company’s broader goal of achieving net zero emissions, a goal that has also enabled the company to become the “world’s first furniture maker” to report the carbon footprint of all its products. products.

The installation of Vestre and Note Design Studio is presented in the Tortona district from September 5 to 10 as part of Milan design week 2021. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events happening around the world.

Joseph E. Golightly