Designed by Formzero architects in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a couple who are passionate about growing their own food, the Planter Box House is garden, farm and home – all rolled into one.
The house with it’s numerous concrete planter boxes filled with more than 40 types of edible plants, is in stark visual contrast to the other surrounding buildings.
The internal and external spaces are imbued with a strong sense of hospitality and the owners’ attitude towards tropical sustainable, community living and farming.
Upon entering the gate, one will experience the light and cross ventilation immediately, as the whole ground floor visually reads as one, since there are only glass walls and a window in between the front and the back of the house.
Taking inspiration from the vernacular tropical houses found in the region, split bamboo produced by the indigenous people has been used as formwork for the concrete of the planter boxes. While the bamboo texture lends an abstract organic form to the house, it is also a sustainable solution, is low maintenance and ages well through the rain and pollution.
The Planter Box House is a physical representation of the owners’ lifestyle. It is also a learning curve for the couple, as they constantly have to improvise the irrigation and planting system depending on the elements.
Their custom made irrigation system is interconnected between the planter boxes that store and recycle nutritious resources and rainwater within the soil. It also allows full and precise manipulation of the boxes, from the soil composition to the level of water being supplied.
This project serves as a valuable opportunity and experience not only for the clients to learn about farming in a tropical setting, but also for the surrounding community. The life of the building is expected to be continually improved, as it develops and grows along with the couple.