nLDK builds ‘edible house’ that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan

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nLDK completes ‘edible house’ with spacious garden in nara, japan

Architecture studio nLDK has completed a residential building with a spacious kitchen garden in Nara, Japan. The project, called ‘Edible House,’ draws on regional architecture to create a permeable wooden house that stands out from contemporary homes, apartments, and condominiums. The design focuses on the concept of ‘food-and-life unity’ and integrates a large kitchen and vegetable garden to achieve safe everyday food self-sufficiency, improve quality of life, and revitalize neighboring communities. 

‘The house is never finished, it continues to grow it like the vegetables.’ the Nara-based architecture firm says. 

nLDK builds 'edible house' that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan

all images © Yosuke Ohtake

‘Edible House’ by nLDK was designed in response to the current context, the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, globalism, and the neoliberal economy. ‘Familiar communities and economic activities have to be reconsidered.’ the architects explain. ‘In the period of rapid economic growth, houses, offices, and farms are separated in Japan. These days, houses are closed to offices and some houses even have small offices. In the coronavirus situation, we had much extra time, so many people started to have their own kitchen gardens in their houses or balconies.’ 

Under these circumstances, the clients were looking for a small house with a large kitchen garden where they could grow their own vegetables. At first, the owners requested a second house where they could enjoy gardening and spend time next to the nearby fields. Eventually, the project became their permanent residence, while the nature-focused spatial composition was maintained.

nLDK builds 'edible house' that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan

The team at nLDK set the house on the north of the plot, ensuring that the vegetable garden receives ample sunlight. A dining kitchen and an event room with direct access to the garden are located on the first floor which is built lower than usual to provide a better look at the vegetables in the garden. A vast bathroom is also installed on the first floor, and part of it can be used as a solarium to raise seeds. Occupants can also use leftover bath water for watering the vegetables. The wooden interior, adds a touch of warmth to the house, encouraging residents to relax and read books.

On the second floor, in contrast, high-side lighting is used to create a calm bedroom, children’s playroom, and above all, a library with a huge collection of books, where the master can indulge in reading. A gabled roof was recommended by the Landscape Ordinance, but there are no traditional houses in the area, and the direct imitation of historical buildings feels uncomfortable. The choice of a sloping roof was inevitable due to the conditions, but considering the rationalization of solar power generation and rainwater use, a shed roof facing south is suitable.

nLDK builds 'edible house' that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan nLDK builds 'edible house' that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan nLDK builds 'edible house' that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan nLDK builds 'edible house' that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan

nLDK builds 'edible house' that grows alongside its vegetable garden in japan

myrto katsikopoulou I designboom

sep 22, 2022

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