maquette d'un jardin vert sur les toits d'un immeuble

A Rooftop Garden, know-how, micro-algae and the water of Valencia

Great ideas are often born from a meeting. They circulate and make their way through the thickness of the world to, perhaps, one day, transform it. By creating Un Jardin Sur Les Toits, a consulting agency and creative studio in botany and the environment, Jesus Diaz de Vivar and Stefano Morana del Medico have pooled their intelligence, their know-how and their passion in the service of a project like no other: an innovative technology that works thanks to micro-algae and which could well be the solution to purify the air in our cities. They put their luggage in Valencia two years ago, where they are working to make our future more livable.

Un Jardin Sur Les Toits, an agency that builds the world of tomorrow

Founded in 2012, the Un Jardin Sur Les Toits agency aims to develop innovative strategies and provide concrete solutions to improve the urban environment and the well-being of residents. Combining their know-how in experimental botany, biotechnology and management of pollutant reduction processes, Jesus and Stefano set themselves the challenge of cleaning up the air in our cities. And for that, they bet on plants and algae.

Thanks to their solid scientific background, they have listened to – and studied – life. It has to be said that our two researchers are quite skilled in this area: Jesus Diaz de Vivar is a graduate of the University of Cambridge (UK) in safeguarding the oceans, managing sustainable development and supporting societies towards net zero emissions; Stefano Morana del Medico, specialized in scientific aromatherapy and botany, is a graduate of ISIPCA Versailles and IFSH. A journey that led them very early on to become aware of the climate emergency and to actively participate in the great story of our time: shaping our economy and our ways of existence in the light of the ecological transition.

Portrait of Jesus and Stefano by Caroline Minjolle

A micro-algae farm on the rooftops of Paris

A change of model which imposes, in all haste, to accelerate the decarbonization of the industry and to ensure a green transition towards net zero emissions. Also, Jesus and Stefano are increasing collaborations with prestigious companies such as Allianz, Airparif or Orange, among many others, for which they create tailor-made solutions related to plants in order to reduce their carbon impact as much as possible. .

In 2017, they won their first international competition within a consortium as part of the “Inventons la Métropole du Grand Paris” project – the largest call for architecture and urban planning projects in Europe -, by proposing the installation of a micro-algae farm on the roofs of buildings in the city of Nanterre. This micro-algae farm grown in bioreactors, of a unique and patented design, has the property of fixing CO2 ambient air and produce abundant oxygen through photosynthesis and state-of-the-art technology developed by Un Jardin Sur Les Toits and its partners.

green gardens on the roofs of a building in nanterre
Model of Nanterre La Bulle

Valencia, matrix and innovation city

Like many expats seduced by the quality of life and the dynamism of the city, Jesus and Stefano decided to put their luggage in Valencia two years ago. They also take part in the creation of a research program on micro-algae at the University of Almeria. As Stefano aptly points out, “research is fundamental to bring out truly innovative and adapted solutions”. Added to this is an important fact: the family of Jesus is originally from Valencia, and this expatriation to the birthplace of his grandparents takes on all the features of a return to the sources, of a rebirth.

The secret life of microalgae in Valencia

bioreactor with green pipes of microalgae
A microalgae bioreactor from Rooftop Garden

The next step of the Parisian agency Un Jardin sur Les roofs, in collaboration with La Base Culture de Valencia, would be to propose an exhibition on “the secret life of microalgae” : their origins, their functions, their fields of application commented on in a simple, didactic, artistic and accessible way for the general public. Jesus explains that too often, when they try to illustrate the sector in which they operate, “people widen their big round eyes, half-fascinated, half-confused”, and that’s why Stefano and himself naturally thought it was time to stage the world of micro-algae so that everyone could understand their point. It is also a way of decompartmentalizing knowledge between worlds that too often ignore each other – experts, companies and citizens -, and of advocating for a science outside the walls that works in concert with society for the common good and the future of humanity.

The exhibition is conceived and designed as a collective creation that calls on the originality of artists and the support of local institutions. Like the Franco-Valencian cultural energy incubator La Base Culture, Un jardin Sur Les Toits makes it a point of honor to build bridges between French know-how and Valencian culture. The decor of the exhibition will therefore be drawn by a Valencian designer, the explanatory video commented by a Spanish artist, and a Valencian biotechnology student will assist Jesus and Stefano in setting up the bioreactor that will generate the micro-algae.

It is therefore a trans-Pyrenees and truly Mediterranean exhibition that Un Jardin Sur Les Toits and La Base Culture want to offer, with the common desire to make a date in the history of Valencia by illuminating the paths of the world after…