Project by: Studio Pecht
Challenge: How can we make vegetable gardening an everyday part of high-density, urban living?
Project description: With an increase on city-dwellers who have lost touch with how their food is produced, the Farmhouse is a concept for modular housing that reconnects people in cities with agriculture and helps them live not only more sustainably, but happier, healthier lives. Precht’s mission is to improve respect for nature, with the resulting positive impact that this has on communities’ physical and mental wellbeing.
A modular A-Frame structure is made from CLT (cross-laminated timber), locking in the carbon absorbed by the trees that were grown to make it. Modules can be stacked in a variety of configurations for lower or higher-rise housing blocks. Starting at just 9m2 with a 2.5m2 balcony, apartments offer open-plan living and kitchen spaces on the ground floor, with tent-shaped bedrooms on the upper floors. Built in three layers, an inner core supports all the main services such as electricity and pipes. The main interior space is flanked by the outer ‘growing layer’, equipped with hydroponic units, waste management systems, gardening elements, solar panels and a water supply, enabling residents to produce their own food to eat or share with their local community. Surplus is sold in the ground floor food market. Importantly, the project incorporates a root cellar for storing food in winter and composting units for turning food waste back into growing material.
Gardens can be either private or communal, with the inverted gaps that occur between modules creating V-shaped buffer zones that both separate apartments and allow the plants access to natural light.
Project phase: Planning