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Monaco: CMF builds Exotic Garden greenhouses

Reconstruction of the 5 greenhouses and 5 shelters in the adjoining botanical centre of the Exotic Garden of Monaco has been completed after 2 years of works. Under the direction of architects Rudy Ricciotti and Fabrice Notari this horticultural project has been entrusted to the French firm CMF. The 10 structures are now ready to rehouse some 10,500 succulent plants, most of them being protected by the Washington Convention (CITES). The decision was made to implement the new greenhouses on a ground in strong declivity. These real glass cubes thus fit into a site made up of dry stone-built walls. Rudy Ricciotti explained that “it is a very high responsibility project”. “First of all to offer a new vision of the Western entrance to the Principality of Monaco. Then to give a setting to an extraordinary collection of plants unique in the world. Finally, the aim was to build in front of the metaphysical horizon of the Mediterranean Sea… a city of light. This huge set of greenhouses of stone and glass will combine plant and mineral, living and eternal”.

The scientific collection of cacti and other succulent plants was created in the 1960s. It provides a botanical centre role, i.e. “ex situ” protection for valuable specimens which are often rare and endangered in the wild since the middle of the 1990s.

For the design and manufacturing of these 5 greenhouses and 5 open shelters, Engeco turned to CMF, internationally-renowned specialist in the field of greenhouses and bioclimatic glass structures. A total of 10,000 potted plants and 500 rooted directly into the soil - some of which weigh upwards of 2 tonnes and stand almost 11 metres tall - will be transferred to these new facilities.

One of the great challenges of this project was to ensure the aesthetic harmony of structures with very different technical specifications, including a large greenhouse for the biggest specimens coming from Africa and Madagascar, a greenhouse to simulate the most arid conditions reserved for Mexican succulent plants, a nursery, and a greenhouse for epiphytic specimens and for Melocacti.

CMF's Eco Klima aluminium profiles technology was an obvious choice for this job, offering a unique combination of aesthetic quality and technical efficiency. In order to naturally regulate the climate within each of the glasshouses, roof and/or side vents were fitted with integrated shading screens. The whole system can be managed automatically by a control panel connected to a weather station.

A tourist attraction and cultural asset in a rapidly-changing part of Monaco. This project is part of the wide-ranging programme of works currently underway to modernise the Western entrance to the Principality of Monaco. Located a stone's throw from the Palais Princier, the site of this project underwent detailed technical inspections by CMF's engineers. Difficult to access with little room for assembly operations, not to mention the seaside location and seismic risk factor, this project has all the makings of an exceptional architectural achievement.

For more information:
BP 10 001 - Varades
44370 Loireauxence
Tél. : +33 (0)2 40 98 34 00
Fax. : +33 (0)2 40 98 34 94
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