The double-walled piling for the Italian pavilion is a demonstration of how naturalistic engineering techniques for slope consolidation work that are widely used throughout Italy.
It consists of a framework of chestnut trunks forming a structure to contain the soil, in this case fill, located behind it.
Normally, the chambers created between the trunks are filled with willow cuttings or bundles to help consolidate the structure; in this case, an ornamental herbaceous species, Vinca major, was used.
The naturalistic function is given by the presence of the vegetation itself, which increases the natural component of the work. As far as the aesthetic function is concerned, on the other hand, the presence of vegetation promotes the landscape aspects by reducing the visual impact of the structure itself.
The technique of naturalistic engineering has distant origins that can be traced back to the ancient Romans. Wood and earthworks were common for the construction of fortifications, defensive walls and entrenched camps. Roman legionaries had to be able to quickly build an entrenched camp using locally available materials such as logs, branches, earth and stones. In Julius Caesar's
De Bello Gallico [Gallic War], there are numerous detailed descriptions of the construction of consolidation works in wood and earth, comparable to today's naturalistic engineering works.