How can greenhouse design change architecture?
Few structures are as elegant and ingenious as greenhouses. Built largely with simple, straightforward designs, these minimalist shelters create airy, bright spaces that shape the indoor climate. Dedicated to the cultivation of plants and crops, these are diverse projects combining programs and systems to emphasize sustainability, education and conservation. Basically, greenhouses are synonymous with experience and discovery.
As Eduardo Souza notes on the history of greenhouse design, large-scale production of greenhouses only became possible after the industrial revolution with the availability of mass-produced sheets of glass. Since then, they have been used to grow food and flowers, forming a microclimate suitable for plant species, even in places with harsh climates. From ornamental horticulture to ecosystem awareness, contemporary greenhouses are built around living collections. But they can also inform new approaches to architecture through light, structure and sustainability. In turn, they can become learning environments to promote education on the links between climate and architecture.
The Santa Monica Greenhouse is the third greenhouse designed in collaboration with the Cactus Store in Los Angeles. Located next to the Bergamont train station train stop, it is located in a large industrial complex being converted into a retail and office district. The project is connected to the client’s office building, located in a former warehouse, and houses his private specimen and large-scale collection of cacti and succulents.
This project has three stages. The first was the reconstruction of their old house. The team made cost calculations and proposed to build a new house with half the volume and without any compromises. The greenhouse was placed on the roof for several reasons: not to spoil the view from the house, to save money on the construction of the foundation, the use of waste heat from the house and access to the greenhouse.
The new pavilion of the Grueningen Botanical Garden is strongly linked to its context. The design was inspired by the surrounding forest and not the built environment. The formal vocabulary and the structural concept both derive from nature. The pavilion is designed to harmonize with the forest and make it larger. The form was developed using Voronoi tessellation, also known as natural neighbor interpolation.
In times of a pandemic, Ana, a botanical enthusiast specializing in orchids, turns her hobby into a business: Greenhouse Orchid, and entrusts the design team with creating a greenhouse that also serves as an exhibition space . The proposal is a transparent, transportable and modifiable prototype that generates the climate necessary for the survival of orchids. Two greenhouses are made, one for exposure and the other for flowering.
GLOBAL FLORA is reimagining how sustainable greenhouse design can enhance global interdisciplinary science education and deepen public understanding of nature. The Global Flora botanical facility expands on the 1920 vision of Dr. Margaret Ferguson who advocated for plant biology to be central to science education and encouraged students to “listen” to plants and learn through practical interdisciplinary experiences.
Walls and fences are typically used to separate people and areas, but at the Desert Botanical Garden, an unusual series of structures actually brought people together. The team combined wood, concrete, steel, stone and block to create a variety of richly textured, highly functional dividers that physically divided and visually connected open spaces. The garden also needed a way to separate “front of house” operations from “back of house” operations at the horticultural center.
Desert City is a celebration of xerophyte plants and the production of a whole culture of interests and events around them. The project offers an educational, sustainable and ecological complex in which activities are superimposed ranging from the exhibition, cultivation and breeding of cacti from all over the world in a large garden and a greenhouse, to the accommodation of a range of leisure activities such as presentations, small congresses, workshops or exhibitions.
Located across Britain and overseas, Maggie’s centers are designed to provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where those affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support. . Inspired by the model for a new type of care defined by Maggie Keswick Jencks, they place a high value on the power of architecture to lift morale and aid in the therapy process. The Manchester Center design aims to establish a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting.
Dongmaoku, a former warehouse campus in Shenyang, is the PRC’s first generation of logistics facilities built since the Korean War period. With over 30 individual warehouses, Dongmaoku has significant value for the study of logistics building typology in modern China. The design team set up a greenhouse garden, and a new typology appeared. The result is that the two warehouses have a spatial sequence with a garden at the beginning.