The Botanical garden of Barcelona, located in Montjuïc, has an extension of 14 hectares. It is specialized in the mediterranean climate and contains a wide range of plants from all over the world. Moreover, it is divided into the five main regions of the planet with this kind of weather, such as Chile, California, South-Africa, Australia and Southern Europe.
It was designed by the architects Carles Ferrater and Josep Lluís Canosa working in an interdisciplinary team whose two main priorities were, firstly, to distribute the plants so that they are placed together with the other ones of the same geographical region, and, in addition to that, that within every region, plants are disposed following their ecological affinities representing the different landscapes existing in those zones. Secondly, they didn’t want to do it making large earthworks.
They achieved the design of the park in a mathematical way since they designed the park following fractal structures: they split the land into triangles, so that every triangle contained the plants of a particular landscape, while each of the five regions was represented by a set of this triangles.
If we look at the zigzag shape of the path, and then at the trapezoidal pieces which constitute it, we can found a very good example of fractal geometry.
And… if we look more carefully, we’ll find it everywhere around us!
This post has been written by Àdel Alsati in the subject Història de les Matemàtiques (History of Mathematics, 2014-15)
Location: Botanical Garden in Barcelona (map)