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PlantHouse – Honorable mention in architectural design

Design: Büro für Bauform,

Team: Jürgen Lehmeier, Eddie Klotz, Benedikt Weigmann, Carmen Selaru Statics: Valentin Maier Bauingenieure AG;
Energy consulting: Winfried Thör / Eddie Klotz;
Plants consulting: Mathias Mathwig
Photo credits: Praxis d’Architecture Markus Vogt, Stefan Riedl, Judith Lehmeier


Project Description PlantHouse Upward extension of World War II damaged building with an integrated rooftop garden in a lightweight steel structure. The building proposes an answer on how people could be living in the future. The rooftop garden increases the biodiversity of cities, enhances the air quality and cools down the building through shading and water vaporization. Furthermore, the residents can use the garden to grow vegetables and fruits. All the inhabitants are meant to contribute to the farming and maintenance of the plants. The ideas of sharing and community are the cornerstones of this project, whereas the architectural vision is a counteraction to climate change. The image of the building is based on the historic appearance, which was demolished during the bombing of World War II. Unfinished, raw and open, the architectural volume is a representation of its own remains. Future oriented housing There is an urgent need for changing the attitude and consciousness towards food and agriculture, as well as towards the global food production industry. All of which go hand in hand with the problem of climate change. Topics like food revolution, sustainability and alternative means of transportation are becoming more present in people’s minds. A part of the solution is proposed by this project. It shows an excerpt of a large scale implementation to counteract the mentioned issues. The requirement for regional produce, biodiversity, short transportation distances, sustainable farming, wholesome foods, plant and animal habitats and many more are all offered by this house. It stands for living with and within nature while still inside of a dense urban area and in an intergenerational community. Sustainability The extension is a lightweight steel structure. Unlike most materials, steel has been recycled for ages with losses at around 5% with minimal energy use. Besides this, all the used materials can be cleanly separated and reused in almost the same amounts. In the case of a disposal it would not be posing a threat to the environment, as opposed to wood, where the burning process generates significant emissions. The entire width of the building is being used. The spaces can easily be adapted to further usage options with-out having to change the static structure. The plants on the roof are being watered with collected rain water and they are significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the building, by contributing to the cooling of the building through vaporization and shading.