Living Garden- Reimagining domesticity by cohabiting with plants

Jonas Richard Musil


Thea Scurtu


Natalie Rosemarie Waldram

As an attempt to reimagine domesticity , our team thought about the unpredictable future and all its challenges. We wanted to address the issue of climate change, especially that of food scarcity. Future heat waves and insufficient water resources will significantly diminish the percentage of food which can be produced industrially on land. By raising awareness on food production and creating a much stronger bond between inhabitants and food we integrated food production in our domesticity concept. Our focus laid on giving more space to plants and food production and considering the inhabitants more as a caregiver instead of a main character.  There is a strong symbiotic relationship forming between inhabitants and plants by a constant exchange of resources: food and care.

After designing a diet which contained all the necessary nutrients a person needs in a day and calculating the space needed to grow each vegetable according to harvesting season and daily intake, we took a further look to reevaluate where all the food production can be placed. Our existing building was the Cendrier Center in Geneva build in the 1950s by Marc-Joseph Saugey and was considered an innovation of multifunctional commercial building. The building consisting of ten over ground and five underground stories offered little floor space giving it the appearance of a tower. We took advantage of the high rise of the building and designed a second layer around it which would host the food production and pathways to care for them. The food production continued also inside the domestic space by blending the limits between personal space and planting space and creating a cohabitation between two species. The outside scaffolding would host industrial production methods though hydroponics, irrigated by rain water and on the inside we combined traditional production methods for plants the need more soil and also hydroponic systems for areas with insufficient natural light conditions. The underground floors were mainly designed for industrial production and fueled by solar energy to provide electricity for the hydroponics. The Ground floor and first two floors were designed with a primary focus on making the bond between neighborhood and inhabitants stronger. By integrating exchange relationship (exchanging in-house produced food for compost) the ground floor is seen as an interface between our building and the city of Geneva. This project was developed as part of Studio ELII.

Layout_Submission (PDF)
Luis Uriel Fogue Herreros, Eva Gil Lopesino
Léonore Nemec
Master, Spring
Semester Project
Architecture, Housing, Society, Environment
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