“Whenever architects design a building, they take an area away that used to belong to nature. We try to give this space back to plants on the roof. At the same time we provide a gardening-system for the owners to live independent off the grid.’
The house is shaped by 2 separate entities that are connected in a harmonious way with a green roof. Similar than a Yin & Yang sign, the two main areas of the house are intertwined. One half for living, the other half for working. The 2 roof-sides shape like mountains from the ground to their highest points and surround the garden like a valley in-between them. The ascending roof channels rainwater to the ground where it is stored and reused on dry days to water the plants.
When architecture supports the way we grow our food, a house becomes more than “just” a building. It attracts all your senses. Nature makes the house visually appealing because it changes its look according to the seasons. Natural materials make it haptic. You can hear your house, because different animals like bees or birds become part of the daily life. It has its own natural scent, based on the plants growing on the roof. And in a way you are able to eat part of the house. This sensible architecture creates a special bond to the building and it creates a personal relation.
The living roof is not just a tool for living a autarkic life-style, but also a design element. Nature is a patient sculpturer and transforms the house over time. Depending on the season, the house blooms in different colours and different scents. From vibrant colours in spring to a white snow-field in winter, the house changes over time and transforms itself in harmony to its surrounding.
‘Growing your own herbs, vegetables and fruits, changes our relationship to food. In our garden, we try to grow as much of our daily nutrition as somehow possible. The vegetables might not look as perfect as the normed ones from the supermarkets, but they sure taste better and are more nutritious. And most importantly you know what you eat and taste the work and love that comes from your own garden. Real food becomes part of your identity. The same way that architecture does. To combine both in one harmonious design, gives a poetic image for a small plot on the countryside,’ says Fei.