Green Houses to Improve Life and Aesthetics in Shanty Towns

Orchard Houses Project from Buenos Aires Image

A group of architects from Argentina have come up with a project called Orchard House, which proposes the implementation of vertical gardens in shanty towns to provide local people with food and improve the visuals of these villages.

The idea is to teach people how to build a series of 'productive modules', with metal structures and different types of coverage that allow the growing of small vegetables. By providing them with the tools and knowledge, people could then build their own houses or structures on their own.So the idea is simple: the group developed a series of modules with metal structures, and thought of different types of low cost coverage materials.

The different shapes can be seen below, and the coverages include: recycled TetraPack recipients with plants, wool felt fabrics, closed metal panels, vertical and horizontal tubes containing vegetables.

Modules of the Orchard Houses Project in Buenos Aires Image

A scheme of these different ideas.

Once put together, these structures are equipped with plants and vegetables that are grown with different types of cultivation techniques (such as hidroponics or different substrates).

The modules extend the 'cultivable' surface: in the 'kiosc' prototype, for example, you can turn one sq. meter into seven sq. meters of vegetables.

An example of a structure turned into green surface is below.

Structure of an Orchard House Project Image

Orchard Houses Project from Buenos Aires Image

Orchard Houses Project from Buenos Aires Image

The idea is to build some of these houses inside shanty towns in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the help of organizations and private companies, and then teach the system to local people for them to be able to put together structures on their own.

By doing that, the project seeks to generate cooperative work that creates jobs and production in shanty towns.

Even if the project is in developing phase, it's an interesting proposal for poor neighborhoods.

Orchid Houses (Casa Huerta) was created by architects Sebastián Miguel, Laura Ostrofsky, Ana Paula Saccone, Mariano González Moreno, Paula Modia and Sofía Parlatore Sirito, from the Architecture Faculty at the Buenos Aires University. It was presented at the latest edition of the Innovar, a national contest for inventions and innovation in Argentina.

What do you think?

More info on the project: (in Spanish)