Small cabin with burnt wood design gives tranquility in the middle of nature

When you need to get away from city life for just a couple of days, you need to be somewhere that’s just a couple of hours away from where you live. Not everyone who lives in a city has that option so if you do, you should take advantage of it just to have a few days to yourself, away from the hustle. If you live in Berlin or a city near the German capital, you can avail of Raus’ service which lets you book secluded cabins whose locations are revealed to you once you’ve booked them. Their newest cabin design is as compact as they come but with a bit of a charred twist.

Designers: Raus and Sigurd Larsen

This new compact cabin was built on the grounds of Wehrmühle Biesenthal which is just an hour away from Berlin. The 193-square-foot cabin is made from charred timber, giving it a dark and worn look that lets it blend with the dark tree trunks that surround it. It actually sits in the middle of a forest with meadows, fields, and even a small river surrounding it. You are basically escaping to nature but with all the conveniences of a stylish cabin to retreat to.

What makes this cabin and all other Raus cabins even better are that they are all self-sufficient. With this one, you get a wood-burning stove if you need to cook food or keep warm, a composting toilet and water tank to re-use your water supply, and solar panels to give the space green energy. And of course, the rooms are designed to they are aligned with the sunlight so there’s no need to use artificial lighting during the daytime, with the kitchen filled up with sunshine as it faces the east and the strong midday light hitting the rear facade.

Since you’re in the middle of nature, the cabin was also designed to take advantage of all the great scenery. The kitchen is not just filled with light but with a view of the forest to inspire your cooking and eating. There is a terrace to the west where you can sit and marvel at the sunset. The facade lets you lounge outdoors and just breathe in all that nature that you can see. There are also large windows placed near the queen-size bed so you can enjoy the view from there.

It may be a small cabin but it can sure give you room to breathe away from the city. You can fit in three adults or two adults and two children with the main built-in queen-size bed and a bunk bed, also built-in. The all-black interiors, high ceiling, big windows, and sliding doors also makes the small space look a little bigger.

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Self-sufficient cabin in the forest is a green retreat for only $165k

One of my dreams (and a lot of people’s dreams probably) is to be able to work remotely in a small cabin somewhere in the middle of nature and then disconnect from the world after the work is done. That will most likely remain a dream in the near future but seeing other people’s dream come true is a hobby I’ve developed lately. I also take notes so that if ever I get to live out this plan someday, I know what I want and how to get it.

Designer: ZeroCabin

Two sisters in Chile got the ZeroCabin crew to help create their dream retreat in a forest in the Lake District. The cabin faces the sea on the east and then on the west, you can see a 70-meter tall hill so you get a perfect view either way. They designed the north facade to have open windows and expanded the east facade to allow more sun to illuminate the house obliquely. And since the area has extreme humidity during the winter, they elevated the cabin 1.5 meters above the ground. The 1,184-square-foot cabin has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and living area on the ground floor, and a loft on the third floor.

Following their previous designs, this ZeroCabin Krul uses timber as a frame for the entire structure but with structural insulated panels with pulverized cardboard. The cabin is built to be green and so it uses a two-kilowatt solar system for its electrical needs and a five-cycle system that collects rainwater for its water needs. Shower water is also collected and is used to flush the toilet. The bathroom waste is treated with the Toha System, a vermicomposting process that lets earthworms turn them into nutrient-rich humus.

The ZeroCabin way is to start out the house as a kit of parts and then bring it to the location where they assemble it. Since the location is a bit remote and had to pass along a steep road, they had to use a light pickup truck to transport everything including cement and rubble for its foundation. The best news for the sisters is that the cabin was completed for just $165,000 as they used natural materials as well as affordable but sustainable technologies.

The geometric-shaped cabin doesn’t look so out of place in the middle of the forest and in the inlet of the Pacific Ocean as it was specifically designed to be “in humble dialogue with the surrounding nature”. The sisters got a grand reveal as they wanted to be surprised and based on their reaction (“they cried with happiness), they indeed got the self-sufficient retreat of their dreams.

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Timber House building to be part of green Quayside development in Toronto

Combining nature and huge structures has not always been successful design-wise and carbon footprint-wise. But over the years, we’ve seen a lot of development in green architecture, and so we see buildings, condominiums, and other developments successfully incorporate environment-friendly aspects when creating these structures. An upcoming development in Toronto will be including some of these kinds of structures, including what may become the largest residential mass-timber buildings in Canada.

Designer: Adjaye Associates

Timber House will become part of the Quayside development in Toronto’s waterfront. The building, which will be long and narrow, will house affordable residential units as well as residences for senior citizens. What will make it stand out is that it will be a plant-covered building with the facade getting crisscrossed narrow beams and incorporating patios in the structure to put up the greenery. Once completed, it will be one of the biggest mass-timber structures in Canada.

This building, though is just one of many structures that will be included in Quayside, a 12-acre development that will be built in the lakefront of Toronto. In the future, we’ll be getting not just towers and green spaces but also cultural buildings that will focus on honoring the local Indigenous nation. It will also become “the first all-electric, zero-carbon community” at this large scale, according to Waterfront Toronto.

One of the buildings that will be part of the development is Western Curve, designed by Aluson Brook Architects. It is designed to have round balconies filled with plants and the tower itself will have slender arches. Another building will be The Overstorey, designed by Danish Studio Henning Larsen and located right across Timber House. From the design, it looks a bit like a Jenga tower but with greenery all around.

Quayside will also have a community care hub, recreation places for the community that will be living there, and a two-acre community forest that will give car-free green spaces. There are no designs yet for these other parts of the development but we can expect to see more as this starts to break ground.

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This sustainable forest complex absorbs CO2 and produces oxygen to mitigate the effects of urbanization!

Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex, comprised of five sustainable green towers, was built to mitigate the effects of urbanization and fight for the environmental survival of our cities.

As our cities become increasingly popular destinations for younger generations, the need to introduce sustainable and biophilic architecture has never felt more urgent. As we face urban expansion and densification, architects are taking initiative to ensure the environmental survival of our contemporary cities. Italian architect Stefano Boeri has found promise in vertical city forest complexes, a form of biophilic architecture that incorporates teeming greenery into the very structure of residential buildings. Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex is Boeri’s latest sustainable undertaking, a forest complex in Huanggang, Hubei, China “intended to create a completely innovative green space for the city.”

Bounded by three streets, Easyhome covers 4.54 hectares and comprises five towers, each of which connects with an open, public space. 404 different trees fill out the layout of Easyhome, absorbing 22 tons of carbon dioxide and producing 11 tons of oxygen over the span of a year. Helping to mitigate smog and produce oxygen, the trees incorporated into Easyhome also increase biodiversity by attracting new bird and insect species. 4,620 shrubs and 2,408 square meters of grass, flowers, and climbing plants are also spread throughout Easyhome’s structure in addition to the complex’s tree species.

Easyhome’s rhythmic, modular facade also lends itself to increased biodiversity by mimicking the incongruent, wild look of nature. Rising 80 meters in height, two of the five towers are residential buildings, while the other towers remain in use as hotels and large commercial spaces. As Boeri is no stranger to vertical green complexes, he has worked on many urban forestry projects. Everywhere, from Milan to Cairo, Boeri has designed forest complexes to help mitigate the harmful effects of urbanization. However, Easyhome is a new type of vertical forest.

Describing the building’s difference in his own words, Boeri writes, “the floors have cantilevered elements that interrupt the regularity of the building and create a continuous ever-changing movement, accentuated by the presence of trees and shrubs selected from local species.” In addition to the building’s undulating facades and rugged appeal, Easyhome implements a combination of open-air balconies and closed-off terraces to blue the transitional boundary between nature and human-centered environments. This incongruent configuartion of the building’s exterior also allows the greenery to grow freely in height and foliage, the way it would in natural forests.

Designer: Stefano Boeri Architetti

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These geodesic domes built from bioceramics are a form of regenerative architecture

Geoship is a home building cooperative committed to innovative construction methods that use bioceramics to produce geodesic domes.

As environmental needs continue to influence the trajectory of modern architecture and design, the process of building homes continues to evolve. Vertical forest complexes punctuate city skylines with teeming gardens and prefabricated construction systems are turning into the preferred building method for many architects.

Enter regenerative architecture, a branch of construction that aims to reverse the toll that home building takes on nature, while also producing a net-positive impact on the environment. Geoship, a homebuilding cooperative, uses regenerative building methods for their collection of bioceramic, geodesic domes to carve a new path towards environmentally responsible construction.

Inspired by “the geometry of life,” Geoship’s construction system is defined by the dome’s geodesic shape, chosen for its proximity to several aspects of life, from molecules to the force of gravity itself. Each geodesic dome is also built from nature’s composite, a bioceramic material that forms using, “the same chemical bonding occurs in bones, seashells, and even the ancient pyramids of Giza.”

From the outside of the domes to their insulated interior spaces, Geoship applied a seamless construction process for each material to naturally blend into each other. The building process behind the geodesic domes is affordable and highly efficient to further Geoship’s green initiative.

Supported by a system of struts that outline the dome’s geodesic shape, exterior panels and insulated window frames clad the dome’s frame with weather-resistant and mold-proof facades. Each module that comprises the dome’s structure is connected by a hexagonal hub to ensure secure fastening.

Each module of the geodesic dome is comprised of ceramic crystals that are molded into a triangular shape. Then, the modules are pieced together to form the dome’s geodesic shape.

During the construction process, the carbon required to construct geodesic domes and the modules is far less when compared to traditional home building methods that use sandstone or even passive solar energy.

Amounting to a fire and flood-proof, hurricane and earthquake-resistant home dwelling, the regenerative construction process behind Geoship is also sustainable. Generating zero waste, less CO2 emissions, and a recyclable structure, Geoship’s domes have a 500-year life and can be installed within a very short time frame.

Designed to produce home structures that will remain in place for centuries, Geoship’s regenerative building process is backed by materials science with aim of creating micro-factory and village design platforms to prove the innovative building method’s feasibility.

Designer: Geoship

Geoship’s collection of geodesic homes are constructed using bioceramic building material.

A system of internal struts support the exterior facades of each geodesic dome. 

Geoship also conceptualized their geodesic domes in different colors to appeal to different uses. 

The geodesic domes form Geoship come in an array of different sizes, from small studios to larger family homes.

Ideated as a village of geodesic domes, Geoship will progress their home building system to clusters of domes to prove the system’s large-scale feasibility. 

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Architecture with green roofs designed to meet the needs of humans and nature alike!

Green roofs have been gaining a lot of popularity these days! They are slowly and steadily cementing their place as a beneficial addition to sustainable living setups in the world of architecture. They’re an eco-friendly alternative to conventional roofs as they provide natural insulation against heat and maintain a cool temperature. They also serve as efficient rainwater buffers and reduce energy usage! Not to mention they add an organic and natural touch to homes and help them effortlessly integrate with their surroundings. We’re major fans of green roofs, and we’ve curation a collection of architectural designs that truly showcase their beauty and utility. From a passive house with a living green roof to a rammed earth tiny home concept with a pitched green roof – these structures will have you ditching traditional roofs, and opting for greener ones!

In the hills of Harriman State Park (New York), plans were made to build a beautiful, contemporary-style hobbit hole known as the Black Villa. The house is stunning inside and out, especially its most eye-catching feature: the luscious grass-covered roof. Green roofs have been growing slowly in popularity over the past decade, due to their economic and environmental advantages. They can reduce energy usage by 0.7% by providing natural insulation against heat and maintaining temperatures that are 30-40°F lower than conventional rooftops. (The Black Villa also decreases the need for electricity by using skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows.) Green roofs also reduce and slow down stormwater runoff, which helps immensely in areas with poor drainage systems (usually in urban areas).

Hill House is a passive house designed and constructed by Snegiri Architects with a living green roof that blends the home seamlessly with its natural woodland surroundings. Plotted with diverse plant life and shrubbery, Hill House’s living green roof sprawls with a grass carpet filled with stonecrop and dwarf plants including chamomile and sedum. The gradual incline of Hill House’s green roof conceals the home’s structural presence, bringing the home inch by inch into the bordering woods. The rest of Hill House’s exterior strikes a balance between black-stained wood-paneled facades and natural, unstained wood-paneled eaves.

Tucked in a coastal town outside of Rio De Janeiro, Ortiz designed the residence using the ancient indigenous ‘Taperá style’ as a reference. This unique style is usually characterized to be a visually simple home with open enclosures. And this particular home follows the Taperá style in true fashion! The minimal structure features large glass facades that allow for an ample amount of natural lighting to enter and then carefully uses the streams of natural light and ventilation to its advantage. Of course, the home’s most exquisite feature is its sleek and curved green roof. The monumental roof unifies the entire home, which has been separated into three levels and follows the gentle slope of the landscape, almost concealing the segregated sections of the home, making it seem like one long and leveled structure.

In conceptualizing the Rammed Earth House, the team of architects set out to balance contemporary energy production practices with traditional building methods. Located in Dobrava, a settlement in Slovenia’s flatland region, the Rammed Earth House is inspired by the famed floating roof designed by Slovenian architect Oton Jugovec. Since rammed earth involves compacting a mixture of subsoil into an externally supported framework, the three architects behind Rammed Earth House conceptualized a concrete foundation and timber framework. It’s generally difficult to make changes to a rammed earth structure, but the home’s overhang roof allows cement to be added in the case that extra stability is needed.

Known for designing bold, daredevil retreats stationed on the edge of mountain summits and cliffsides, Eshtiyaghi maintained the same mythical energy for his most recent rendering of Tehran’s Modern Art Museum. From an aerial viewpoint, Eshtiyaghi’s museum does not form any distinct shape, progressing past geometric, sharp angles for a gleaming white roof that slopes and bulges like a white tarp covering a wild landscape. Modern museums are generally known for their conceptual architecture, a form Milad Eshtiyaghi executes well considering his wide array of escapist hideaways. The green space that surrounds Eshtiyaghi’s museum tightens the museum’s abstract energy with rolling green roofs that mimic the overlapping lines of soundwaves, offering a place to rest on its manicured lawns.

Parking Parc was inspired by the pun in its own name– Maeiyat reinterpreted the garage as both a space for parking the vehicle and as an actual greenway that resembles a children’s park. Shaped like a rolling hillside, Parking Parc provides a storage area for parked vehicles that rests beneath the garage’s grassy, recreational exterior. As currently conceptualized, photovoltaic panels punctuate the taller regions of the garage’s exterior, providing clean energy for Volvo’s XC40 Recharge to well, recharge, and enough energy to sustain the rest of the garage’s inside operations.

WTTJH is built within a rejuvenated heritage façade of rendered masonry, steel, timber, and greenery – it is where Victorian row terrace housing meets and a post-industrial warehouse aesthetic. The two-story home was close to collapse and originally occupied the 90sqm triangular site. Due to strict heritage controls, it was untouched and in despair till the rejuvenation project by CPlusC brought it back to life in a way that was conducive towards a better future for the industry and the planet. The rooftop is made from steel planter beds that provide deep soil for native plants and fruit and vegetables. The garden beds are irrigated from the fishpond providing nutrient-rich water created by the edible silver perch (fish)!

Architecture firm Coldefy will be creating a mixed-use building in Northern France. Named ‘Echo’, the structure will include an office space, and a catering and recreation program. The building will be accentuated by green terraces that will cascade one after the other, almost resembling a green river. Echo will be the ‘first bio-based building in Euralille’!

Cuba-based Veliz Arquitecto conceptualized a modern eco home called Hugging House that integrates the land’s rolling terrain and surrounding trees into the layout of the building. Hugging House is a large, bi-level, cantilevered home located somewhere with dense forestry and overhead treetop canopies. The two sections that comprise Hugging House merge together as if in an embrace. Concrete slabs comprise the home’s surrounding driveway that leads to the ground level and outdoor leisure areas.

Cohen developed the Living Shell, an architectural shell built by growing jute, felt, and wheatgrass into a form of a textile that’s laid over a bamboo frame. Turning to textile technology, Living Shell was born from Cohen’s quest to evolve layers of wheatgrass root systems into elastic, textile materials. Settling on the shell’s curvilinear structural shape, the wheatgrass textile wraps over its bamboo frame, forming layers of insulation and shade while it continues to grow. Cohen found durability in the inexpensive building material he developed from jute, felt, and wheatgrass. Layering the different roots together in a pattern that allows room for sustained growth periods, the textile’s thickness and durability increase over time as the roots continue to interlace and grow.

This net-zero off-grid home generates solar power to keep it running for the ultimate sustainable lifestyle!

The Off Grid House from Anderson Architecture pushes sustainability to its outer limits in the Blue Mountains of Australia, equipping the home with added protection against insect attacks and extreme weather conditions like bushfires and rainstorms.

Designing and constructing off-grid houses powered by renewable forms of energy takes a lot of craftsmanship and know-how. Every single detail matters–from the insects that live outside the front door to the location’s natural climate and weather conditions. For Anderson Architecture, constructing their latest Off Grid House in the native bushlands of the Blue Mountains in Australia came with its own slew of challenges, but as they describe, “a site’s chief problem should always be the source of its key innovation.”

Operable without a backup generator, the Off Grid House is a bi-level home that’s essentially split into two sections. The two sections of the Off Grif House appear as two steeply pitched skillion-roofed boxes facing opposite directions and providing entirely different functions for passive insulation and energy generation. One of the roofed boxes, the sun-lit box, serves as the home’s sleeping quarters, storing the ample sunlight and heat during the day to keep the bedroom warm at night. Then, the escarpment-facing box is on the other side of things, receiving little to no direct sunlight during the day. These opposing orientations leave room for the roof’s 6.7KW solar system that generates power for everything from the underfloor heating and general electricity.

Additional heat is provided by a small wood-burning fireplace located in the home’s living area. Considering the termites that populate the Blue Mountains, Anderson Architecture built the Off Grid House out of concrete to ensure the pests don’t boor their way into the living room. Throughout the interior and exterior of the Off Grid House, the boundary between indoors and outdoors is blurred with sliding glass partitions, and an outdoor awning that retracts to form a semi-outdoor space or folds down to create a strictly indoor space.

Taking the local trend of wild bushfires into consideration, Anderson Architecture built a retractable metal screen to protect the home from extreme weather conditions. Describing the need for added protection against bushfires, Anderson Architecture describe,

“Low-carbon fiber cement board cladding and decking give the added appearance of timber with the durability of a high bushfire attack BAL 40 & BAL FZ house design performance. Keen to trial additional weather protection measures, we designed an experimental 2.4m external metal screen here. This acts as a wall that can be winched away out of sight is deployed as heavy rain protection, or could be lowered completely as a BAL FZ (flame zone) barrier in the event of a fire.” Then, when it rains, the roofs feed rainwater to water tanks that cap out at 30,000L.

Designer: Anderson Architecture

The outdoor deck creates a cozy semi-outdoor leisure area. 

Inside, clean lines and neutral color schemes provide the house with a calming ambiance. 

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This tiny living home made from wheatgrass, jute, and felt brings nature into our brutal cityscape

Getting close to nature through architecture comes in many forms. Some homes take to glass facades, dissolving the barrier between the outdoors and inside, then some homes feature blueprints that wrap around trees, incorporating their canopies and trunks into the lay of the house. Omri Cohen, a student designer at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, has a different idea. Cohen developed the Living Shell, an architectural shell built by growing jute, felt, and wheatgrass into a form of a textile that’s laid over a bamboo frame.

Turning to textile technology, Living Shell was born from Cohen’s quest to evolve layers of wheatgrass root systems into elastic, textile materials. Settling on the shell’s curvilinear structural shape, the wheatgrass textile wraps over its bamboo frame, forming layers of insulation and shade while it continues to grow. Cohen found durability in the inexpensive building material he developed from jute, felt, and wheatgrass. Layering the different roots together in a pattern that allows room for sustained growth periods, the textile’s thickness and durability increase over time as the roots continue to interlace and grow. While he has yet to build a life-size Living Shell, Cohen crafted 1:10 models to demonstrate the feasibility of introducing the Living Shell into rural and urban environments alike. Connecting the structure to an irrigation system, the textile overwrap would most likely receive nourishment from a programmed watering method.

While Living Shell functions like a house, it would more likely offer natural refuge hubs for small animals to gather nesting materials from and inhabit. Additionally, Cohen developed Living Shell so that urban dwellers and rural farmers have the opportunity to watch nature in action, for all of its natural growth, regenerative, and decay processes.

Designer: Omri Cohen

Layered around a bamboo frame, Cohen’s Living Shell is made from a textile developed from jute, felt, and wheatgrass.

Before building its life-size debut, Cohen created tiny 1:10 models of Living Shell.

Following tests to show how wheatgrass root systems grew through textile sheets, Cohen settled on some that could be woven together into a single textile sheet.

Cohen found a textile sheet that he could sew together and integrate the seeds of jute, felt, and wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass growing through the textile sheets.

The growth process of wheatgrass shows that the textile’s thickness would increase with continued irrigation.

Green skyscrapers that add a touch of nature + sustainability to modern architecture!

Skyscrapers have taken over most of the major cities today. They’re symbols of wealth and power! And most of the skylines today are adorned with glistening glass skyscrapers. They are considered the face of modern architecture. Although all that glass and dazzle can become a little tiring to watch. Hence, architects are incorporating these tall towers with a touch of nature and greenery! The result is impressive skyscrapers merged with an element of sustainability. These green spaces help us maintain a modern lifestyle while staying connected to nature. We definitely need more of these green skyscraper designs in our urban cities!

Zaha Hadid Architects designed a pair of impressive skyscrapers that are linked by planted terraces, for Shenzhen, China. Named Tower C, the structure is 400 metres in height and is supposed to be one of the tallest buildings in the city. The terraces are filled with greenery and aquaponic gardens! They were built to be an extension of a park that is located alongside the tower and as a green public space.

Polish designers Pawel Lipiński and Mateusz Frankowsk created The Mashambas Skyscraper, a vertical farm tower, that is in fact modular! The tower can be assembled, disassembled and transported to different locations in Africa. It was conceptualised in an attempt to help and encourage new agricultural communities across Africa. The skyscraper would be moved to locations that have poor soil quality or suffer from droughts, so as to increase crop yield and produce.

The Living Skyscraper was chosen among 492 submissions that were received for the annual eVolo competition that has been running since 2006. One of the main goals of the project is to grow a living skyscraper on the principle of sustainable architecture. The ambitious architectural project has been envisioned for Manhattan and proposes using genetically modified trees to shape them into literal living skyscrapers. It is designed to serve as a lookout tower for New York City with its own flora and fauna while encouraging ecological communications between office buildings and green recreation centers. The building will function as a green habitable space in the middle of the concrete metropolis.

ODA’s explorations primarily focus on tower designs, in an attempt to bring versatility and a touch of greenery to NY’s overtly boxy and shiny cityscape. Architectural explorations look at residential units with dedicated ‘greenery zones’ that act as areas of the social congregation for the building’s residents. Adorned with curvilinear, organic architecture, and interspersed with greenery, these areas give the residents a break from the concrete-jungle aesthetic of the skyscraper-filled city. They act as areas of reflection and of allowing people to connect with nature and with one another.

Heatherwick Studio built a 20-storey residential skyscraper in Singapore called EDEN. Defined as “a counterpoint to ubiquitous glass and steel towers”, EDEN consists of a vertical stack of homes, each amped with a lush garden. The aim was to create open and flowing living spaces that are connected with nature and high on greenery.

Designed by UNStudio and COX Architecture, this skyscraper in Melbourne, Australia features a pair of twisting towers placed around a ‘green spine’ of terraces, platforms, and verandahs. Called Southbank by Beulah, the main feature of the structure is its green spine, which functions as the key organizational element of the building.

Mad Arkitekter created WoHo, a wooden residential skyscraper in Berlin. The 98-meter skyscraper will feature 29 floors with different spaces such as apartment rentals, student housing, a kindergarten, bakery, workshop, and more. Planters and balconies and terraces filled with greenery make this skyscraper a very green one indeed!

Algae as energy resources are in their beginnings and are seen as high potential. Extensive research work has dealt with algae as an energy source in recent decades. As a biofuel, they are up to 6 times more efficient than e.g. comparable fuels from corn or rapeseed. The Tubular Bioreactor Algae Skyscraper focuses on the production of microalgae and their distribution using existing pipelines. Designed by Johannes Schlusche, Paul Böhm, Raffael Grimm, the towers are positioned along the transalpine pipeline in a barren mountain landscape. Water is supplied from the surrounding mountain streams and springs, and can also be obtained from the Mediterranean using saltwater.

Tesseract by Bryant Lau Liang Cheng proposes an architecture system that allows residents to participate in not just the design of their own units; but the programs and facilities within the building itself. This process is inserted between the time of purchase for the unit and the total time required to complete construction – a period that is often ignored and neglected. Through this process, residents are allowed to choose their amenities and their communities, enhancing their sense of belonging in the process. Housing units will no longer be stacked in repetition with no relation whatsoever to the residents living in it – a sentimental bond between housing and men results.



In a world devoid of greenery, Designers Nathakit Sae-Tan & Prapatsorn Sukkaset have envisioned the concept of Babel Towers, mega skyscrapers devoted to preserving horticultural stability within a single building. The Babel towers would play an instrumental role in the propagation of greenery in and around the area. These towers would also become attraction centers for us humans, like going to a zoo, but a zoo of plants. Seems a little sad, saying this, but I do hope that we never reach a day where the Babel Tower becomes a necessity. I however do feel that having towers like these now, in our cities, would be a beautiful idea. Don’t you think so too?

Greenhouses that promote sustainable urban farming + push the boundaries of innovative architecture!

Did you know that greenhouses produce 6 to 10 times more crop yield as compared to open fields? Not only that, but 40% of the drainage water in greenhouses can be recycled and reused. They allow you to grow your own food, and combat the prevailing food crises! I could go on, and on, but you get the point – the benefits of greenhouses are innumerable. Hence, architects have been coming up with impressive greenhouse designs. These innovative structures not only promote sustainable agriculture and urban farming, but are also an impactful form of green architecture. I’m totally team greenhouse, are you?

Architecture studio RicharDavidArchitekti built a single-story home in the town of Chlum, in the Hořice district of the Czech Republic. However, this ordinary home has an extraordinary feature! It has a roof-shaped greenhouse on top! The greenhouse on the roof allows 360-degree views of the orchard surrounding the home. As the home and the greenhouse are connected, the residents can directly enter the greenhouse from within, without exiting the house. Also, the residual heat from the house warms up the greenhouse as well. This combination house and greenhouse is truly one of a kind!

Let’s look at what is basically the Queen of all greenhouses – the Tropicalia! Designed by French firm Coldefy & Associates, it will be located on the Côte D’opale in Northern France and construction will begin in 2024. Coldefy & Associates have collaborated with energy company Dalkia for the $62-million ambitious project. The gigantic greenhouse wants to immerse its visitors in a tropical environment that spans over 215,000 square feet and is covered with a massive 35-meter-tall dome. The indoor ventilated temperature will be maintained at 26°c to accommodate the needs of a diverse range of birds, butterflies, fish, reptiles, and exotic plants, fauna, and flora.

Designer Eliza Hague has come up with inflatable bamboo greenhouses! Hague is a student at the University of Westminster where she is pursuing her Master’s in Architecture. Her design features shellac-coated bamboo to emphasize the use of biomimicry in different disciplines of design – in her case it is providing eco-friendly architectural solutions inspired by nature. For the main structure, Hague drew inspiration from the Mimosa Pudica plant which closes its leaves when it senses danger and that is how she came up with collapsible beams featuring inflatable hinges. It gave the greenhouse a unique origami effect (it actually looks like paper too!) and also enables the structure to be easily flat-packed for transportation/storage. Rows of these bamboo-paper greenhouses can be connected to shared houses constructed from the soil, which has a high thermal mass, providing shelter from extreme temperatures in India. Hague envisions that the greenhouses would be shared by multiple families and would provide each family member with enough food to be self-sufficient, creating communal greenhouse villages in the city’s more rural and isolated areas.

Studiomobile and Pnat came up with the Jellyfish Barge which is a floating, modular greenhouse designed especially for coastal communities and can help them cultivate crops without relying on soil, freshwater, and chemical energy consumption. The innovative greenhouse uses solar energy to purify salt, brackish or polluted water. There are 7 solar desalination units planted around the perimeter and are able to produce 150 liters (39.6 gallons) of clean fresh water every day from the existing water body the greenhouse is floating on. The simple materials, easy self-construction, and low-cost technologies make it accessible to many communities that may not have a big fund.  The module has a 70 square meter wooden base that floats on 96 recycled plastic drums and supports a glass greenhouse where the crops grow.

Using experiential design as a medium, Studio Weave collaborated with garden designer Tom Massey to create the Hothouse which is a tiny greenhouse filled with edible tropical plants. The installation was made for the London Design Festival 2020 and is located in the International Quarter of London and provides a controlled habitat to grow specific plants that would not otherwise grow in the UK’s climate. The aim was to show the effects of climate change in a more tangible manner you can experience on an individual personal level.

When Notre Dame lost its roof to a devastating fire, Studio NAB, imagined replacing the roof with a giant greenhouse! The covered greenhouse would occupy the entire length of the cathedral, and both arms of its crossing. On the other hand, the spiral would be rebuilt as a multi-story platform, and would be filled with bees! This space could be utilized as a garden, and to hold educational workshops on ecology.

Architect Gerardo Broissin designed an intriguing pavilion that sits on the lawn at the contemporary art museum Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. The structure looks like it’s right out of another dimension, but it functions as a greenhouse! The pavilion has been created using concrete panels that come together like a puzzle. Named Egaligilo or equalizer in English, the puzzle-inspired panels of the pavilion are spread out across a steel frame, with bubble-like circles protruding from them. The interior wall comprises of white circles as well. The circles have minute spaces in between them giving Egaligilo two layers of skin. The perforated layers allow oxygen, sunlight, and rain to enter the pavilion and aid the plants in their growth. In fact, the pavilion creates its own microclimate, by preserving and maintaining certain atmospheric conditions within, allowing the plants to grow.

Bringing a touch of green to Magok, South Korea, Seoul Botanic Garden was designed and built to create an educational and public space that harbors flora and cultural insight from twelve tropic and Mediterranean cities across the globe. Positioned on the southwestern side of the Han River in the Magok neighborhood of Seoul, the new botanic garden’s location was chosen partly due to the region’s pastoral history. Blossoming a safe distance away from the surrounding marshlands, Seoul Botanic Garden’s rippled, concave roof emulates the formation of a flower’s petals, particularly mimicking the shape of a Rose of Sharon’s petal bed.



A perfect fit amidst Poland’s green terrain is this house, commissioned for a single-family, designed by SK Architekci and visualized by Ideal Arch Visuals. Paying tribute and respect to the greenery, the house has a number of vertical gardens near the side passage and back entrance. It even primarily makes use of wood, to give it a natural aura, and the front facade is made entirely of glass, almost making the house look a little like an idyllic greenhouse among the trees! The house’s exterior has a simple yet striking silhouette that echoes homeliness through its symbolic house shape. Plus, who wouldn’t feel at home amidst such stunning greenery? It’s a home that also functions as a greenhouse!



Designed completely with a cradle to grave mindset, the Lattice Tent serves all needs. From a shelter for humans in both recreational and safety setups, to even a greenhouse towards the end of its life, the Lattice Tent is made up of multiple thoughtfully designed components, beginning with a proprietary “hat” that serves as an attachment platform for utilities like radio antennae, satellite dishes, and rain harvesting systems, held up by a SUP (Set-Up Pole) that provides initial support. The Lattice name comes from the lattice-shaped outer skeleton that is inflated and then lined on the inside with lightweight yet durable walls that are made from an eco-friendly membrane. The entire Lattice can be packed tightly into a cylinder that occupies as much space as a gym bag. The Lattice can be easily broken down too by scattering seeds around it and allowing the membrane to erode to turn the Lattice tent into a hub for plant growth. Grazed on and trampled on by farm animals, the once rigid structure will be ground down and eroded to a point where what remains can be easily removed and disposed of.