Researchers point out that "proto-greenhouses" arose to fulfill the desire of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (42 BC to 37 AD) to eat cucumbers every day of the year. Since it was impossible to grow the vegetable on the island of Capri in winter, his gardeners developed beds mounted on wheels that they would move into the sun when possible, while on winter days they would place them under translucent covers made of Selenite (a type of gypsum with a glassy appearance). But 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. But in some cases, these artificial growing conditions can also form interesting living spaces. The recent Lacaton & Vassal awards rekindled this interest. How is it possible to create greenhouses that can be good for both humans and plants?
Countries that are part of the so-called “global south” have undergone many transformations in their cities and urban contexts in recent years due to the economic and social challenges they face. Urban growth, sustainable development, quality of life and health in emerging cities, and the development of their own cultural identity have been some of the issues that local architecture had to incorporate.
Young architects have understood the importance of making an architecture that is deeply rooted in their own territory while giving this architecture a clear local identity. By generating new typologies and using their own resources and materials, they have presented innovative, site-specific and, above all, solutions with a new fresh focus towards what represents them as creators of this architecture.