Urban Hugs: the embrace of the forest

         13 Dec 2019 00:53
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From the union between art and forest comes the secret to find harmony with ourselves, in a new way of interpreting the urban dimension. Guaranteed by Stefano Boeri, worldwide famous archi-star, guest for a month at the Thermal Baths of Arta Terme with his masterpiece entitled "Urban Hugs".

We live in a historic moment in which the frenzy of daily rhythms makes people feel increasingly lost, a condition that often leads to a frustrating sense of isolation.
Thus was born the need to take a break, to regain contact with ourselves and rediscover our most authentic needs.

Also read: Staying in the nature is a medicine.

So how to escape from this situation of alienation?
A solution is offered by Stefano Boeri, who with his latest creation suggests the importance of reconnecting to nature, with the power of a hug. 

In the space of a hug, art and nature give us the emotion of stillness.

So what is “Urban Hugs”? It is a micro-architecture composed of a multitude of slender woody stems: a sort of miniature forest in which the space of a small clearing is kept. So small that only two people can fit in. In fact, in addition to giving the pleasure of aesthetics, this work wants above all to generate a physical space in which the observer can isolate himself from the frenzy of modern rhythms, to indulge in a liberating embrace.

Why in Arta Terme? 
The choice of Arta Terme to exhibit this artpiece lies in the common values:

  1. The therapeutic power of nature. Just as Urban Hugs evokes the comforting embrace of the forest, also Carnia – which by tradition has never neglected the importance of the balance between man and natural environment, is the ideal place where we can reconnect with ourselves. A territory whose nature, so authentic and varied, becomes nourishment for the eyes and the mind, giving us a state of well-being.
  2. Life that regenerates. A year after the terrible storm that on 28th October 2018 destroyed 35,000 hectares of forest in north-eastern Italy, the crashed wood reborns in a series of projects designed to revive the mountain microeconomies. The symbol of this renaissance is Urban Hugs, which together with Arta Terme - one of the places most affected by the fury of the winds - has become the symbol of rebirth. A confident look at the future, made of excellence and new development prospects.
  3. Designed in Milan, but built by the FVG Wood Supply ChainUrban Hugs is born from the synergy between Stefano Boeri Architetti and the FVG Wood Supply Chain, with the support of the Innova Consortium and the FVG Region. The wood used is the kilometer zero wood from the Friulian mountains. Two excellences that are the flagship of a new production model, whose core is based on environmental sustainability, the circular economy and zero waste.
  4. Thermal Baths of Arta: where water, wood and art draw the future. Urban Hugs will be exhibited in the gardens of the thermal establishment, symbol of this territory and institutional seat of the new Tourist Promotion Consortium of Arta Terme. A place whose tourist vocation has its roots in history and where the magic of the villages blends with the silence of nature, evoking intense emotions and refreshment for the mind.
  5. The value of the couple. Urban Hugs is the space of a meeting. It is the exaltation of the couple, of the time dedicated to ourselves and to the partner. Silent Alps knows this well, offering its guests a travel package dedicated exclusively to lovers. The added value to the wide range of proposals designed for you. 
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When? The installation will be inaugurated Saturday 14th December at 11.00 am.

Where? At the gardens of the historic Thermal Baths of Arta, in Via Nazionale 1.

How long? Urban Hugs will be accessible to the public for a month.


  • Urban Hugs is composed of 95 cylinders, 5 meters high and 6 cm in diameter.
  • The columns are anchored to the ground thanks to a circular platform, also in wood, with an internal diameter of 1 meter and the outer diameter of 2.2 meters.
  • The essences with which it was made are of silver fir, spruce and larch. 
  • The wood is zero-kilometer and PEFC-certified from the friulian mountains.
  • The columns are white, in theme with the event in which the work was born (the exhibition "White in the City" at the FuoriSalone in Milan, during the design week in 2017).
  • Inside the installation you are cuddled by the notes of "Visioni", a piece for cello by Piero Salvatori.
  • Thanks to a special apparatus, when it gets dark the installation lights up.
  • The work is itinerant and has played a leading role in several international events, from the FuoriSalone in Milan to the Golfo degli Aranci in Sardinia.

Leila Meroi

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