Overgrown garden shed shows beauty of wild design

Near my home in Arkansas sits an old commercial greenhouse that has been vacant for years. Vines wrap and weave around and through the skeleton of the broken window frames. Every time I go by I wonder what kind of jungle-like ruins must exist inside the tangled mass of vegetation and decomposing structure. Piles of broken terra cotta pots? Coils of garden hose now lost to decomposed leaves and underbrush? The bones of a long lost gardener? The mystery!

green box natural facade photo© act_romegialli

I found myself having similar thoughts when I saw "Green Box" by Italian architects act_romegialli. While visually similar in its outward appearance, what's nice about this design is that instead of this being another forgotten building that is slowly being taken back by nature, inside Green Box is a modern and handsome interior.

green box act_romegialli photo© act_romegialli

Green Box is located behind a vacation home in the Raethian Alps. It utilizes the old stone wall of an old garage with new roofing and carefully planned landscaping.

green box act_romegialli  photo© act_romegialli

The structure is used primarily as a garden shed (!) but with an interior kitchen and ample open space, it can also be used for entertaining.

green box act_romegialli photo© act_romegialli

I first learned of it via Fast Co Exist, but I see now it has been featured on many design sites, including Dezeen, DesignBoom, The Rayograph, Interior Design Arcade and Inhabitat, just to name a few. When I see an idea or design featured on so many sites like this, I am always curious to about what has made it so resonate with so many people.

act_romegialli green box© act_romegialli

In this case, I think the ubiquity of the scenes of overgrowth like this make it easy to imagine having your very own wild garden shed in whatever region of the world you call home. So much in the design world is controlled and ordered that it is refreshing to see something this wild and natural, while also being so modern. It is an intriguing juxtaposition of controlled chaos on the exterior and elegantly designed simplicity inside.

While most of us won't be fortunate enough to have a place like this of our own, I think the lesson here is to remember that good design doesn't necessarily mean perfect symmetry or control over the elements. Sometimes letting things run a little wild can lead to beautiful results.

green box interior © act_romegialli

green box © act_romegialli

Tags: Architecture | Green Building | Green Roofs


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