There's a growing international movement to develop more urban agricultural opportunities in our cities, whether it's "vegetable yardens" in our front yards, large rooftop farm installations, or even windowfarms in small apartments.
Of course, the ability to grow your own food could very well be a feature that's actually built into your house. That's what Vietnamese design firm H&P Architects (previously) did with Terraces House, a home located in the city of Ha Tinh that has been created with a series of terraces intended for potentially growing food.
Seen over at Designboom, the architects explain that the idea was honour Vietnam's traditional, fertile forms of terraced agriculture, as well as creating a modern place for "agritecture": a combination of architecture with urban agriculture principles:
Agricultural cultivation helps bring city dwellers closer to the nature by giving them interesting first-hand experience in planting, taking good care and sharing harvested produce from their own farmland plots with their neighbors. Terraces Home serves as a constant reminder of the origin of paddy rice civilization in a flat world context threatened by various types of pollution currently at an alarming level. It is, at the same time, expected to promote the expansion of farmland plots in urban areas with a view to securing food supplies for future life.
The concrete house has nine terraces with integrated irrigation systems, capable of supporting the growth of greenery. In addition, these plants will provide shade and a barrier to the dust and heat from the humid environment.
The home's spaces are split up into three levels, with the ground level hosting the living room, kitchen, one bedroom and children's play space. On the second level, one finds three more bedrooms, and an office/workspace area occupies the topmost level, which is also the entry point where one can access the terraces, connected by a series of stairs. Natural cross-ventilation is emphasized through from the screen-like back wall to the window openings out onto the terrace. Rainwater would be collected and redistributed through the irrigation system.
Integrating ideas of food production in and around our homes is a great idea, something that we've seen permaculture enthusiasts, advocates of no-dig gardening and even home hydroponic systems and aquaponics as ultimately aiming at. Even if growing a bit of food at home doesn't solve all our food security issues, it's at least a first step. More images over at Designboom and H&P Architects.