How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?

Few structures are as elegant and ingenious as greenhouses. Largely built with simple and straightforward designs, these minimalist shelters create airy and light-filled spaces that shape indoor climate. Dedicated to the cultivation of plants and crops, they are diverse projects combining programs and systems to emphasize sustainability, education and conservation. At their heart, greenhouses are about experience and discovery.

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 2 of 14How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 3 of 14How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 4 of 14How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 5 of 14How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - More Images+ 9

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 6 of 14
Courtesy of ZOOM, Cut Ink Architectural Photography

As Eduardo Souza notes on the history of greenhouse design, the production of large-scale greenhouses only became possible after the Industrial Revolution with the availability of mass-produced glass sheets. Since then, they have been used to grow food and flowers, forming a microclimate suitable for plant species even in places with severe climates. From ornamental horticulture to raising ecosystem awareness, contemporary greenhouses are made around living collections. But they can also inform new approaches to architecture through light, structure and sustainability. In turn, they can become learning environments to promote education on the connections between climate and architecture.

Santa Monica Greenhouse / Part Office + Cactus Store

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 4 of 14
© Anna Beeke

The Santa Monica Greenhouse is the third greenhouse designed in collaboration with the Cactus Store in Los Angeles. Located adjacent to the Bergamont Station train stop, it is situated within a large industrial complex being converted to a retail and office district. The project is connected to the client’s office building, located in a former warehouse, and houses their private specimen and large-scale cactus and succulent collection.

Family Greenhouse / RicharDavidArchitekti

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 13 of 14
Courtesy of RicharDavidArchitekti

This project has three stages. The first one was the reconstruction of their old house. The team did some cost calculations and proposed to build a new house with half volume and without any compromises. The greenhouse was placed on the roof for several reasons: not to spoil the view from the house, saving money on the foundation construction, the use of residual heat from the house, and access to the greenhouse.

Greenhouse Botanical Garden Grueningen / idA

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 2 of 14
© Markus Bertschi

The new pavilion at the botanical garden at Grueningen relates strongly to its context. The design was inspired by the surrounding forest, not the built environment. Both the formal vocabulary and the structural concept derive from nature. The pavilion is conceived to harmonize with and expand the forest. The form was developed using Voronoi tessellation, also known as natural neighbor interpolation.

Greenhouse Orchid Punta del Este / Mateo Nunes Da Rosa

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 14 of 14
© Marcos Guiponi

In times of pandemic, Ana, a botany-enthusiast specialized in orchids, turns her hobby into a venture: Greenhouse Orchid, and entrusts the design team with creating a greenhouse that also acts as an exhibition space. The proposal is a transparent, transportable, modifiable prototype that generates the necessary climate for the survival of the orchids. Two greenhouses are manufactured, one for exhibition and the other for flowering.

Wellesley College Global Flora / Kennedy & Violich Architecture

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 9 of 14
Courtesy of KVA

GLOBAL FLORA reimagines how the design of a sustainable greenhouse can enhance global interdisciplinary science education and deepen a public understanding of nature. The Global Flora botanical facility expands the 1920 vision of Dr. Margaret Ferguson who argued for plant biology as a central part of science education and encouraged students to “listen to” plants and learn through hands-on interdisciplinary experiences.

Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science / 180 Degrees Design + Build + colab studio

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 7 of 14
© Bill Timmerman

Walls and fences are typically used to keep people and areas separate, but at the Desert Botanical Garden an unusual series of structures actually brought people together. The team combined wood, concrete, steel, stone and block to create a variety of richly textured and highly functional separators that both physically divided and visually connected open spaces. The Garden also needed a means to separate the “front of house” from “back of house” operations at the Horticultural Center.

Desert City / Garciagerman Arquitectos

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 10 of 14
Courtesy of Garciagerman Arquitectos

Desert City is a celebration of xerophytic plants and the production of a whole culture of interests and events around them. The project proposes an educational, sustainable and ecological complex in which to overlap activities that range from the exhibiting, growing and breeding of cactus from all over the world in a large garden and greenhouse, to housing an array of leisure activities such as presentations, small conventions, workshops or exhibitions.

Maggie's Cancer Centre Manchester / Foster + Partners

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 5 of 14
© Nigel Young

Located across Britain and abroad, Maggie’s Centres are conceived to provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where people affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support. Inspired by the blueprint for a new type of care set out by Maggie Keswick Jencks, they place great value upon the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy. The design of the Manchester centre aims to establish a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting.

Revitalization of Shenyang Dongmaoku / URBANUS

How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture?  - Image 12 of 14
© Tianpei Zeng

Dongmaoku, a former warehouse campus in Shenyang, is the PRC’s first generation of logistic facilities constructed since the Korea War period. With over 30 individual warehouses, Dongmaoku has significant value for the study of the logistics building typology in modern China. The design team implemented a greenhouse garden, and a new typology appeared. The result is that both warehouses have a spatial sequence with a garden at the beginning.

Image gallery

See allShow less
About this author
Cite: Eric Baldwin. "How Can Greenhouse Design Change Architecture? " 03 Apr 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

© Markus Bertschi


You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.