Planter Box House designed by FORMZERO is aimed to celebrate sustainable living lifestyle and to grow food for self-sufficiency. With multiple passive design strategies to create a low energy house, the house is covered by more than 40 types of edible plants. These plants are grown in concrete planter boxes which serve as both stormwater retention and irrigation reservoir, are also seen as an urban landscape.
▼住宅外观，exterior view ©Ameen Deen
▼住宅剖透视，被植物填满，没有一个明确的轮廓界限，perspective section, the plants fill Planter Box House, appearing less defined
Designed as a house for a retired couple who are passionate in growing foods, the plants filled Planter Box House appears less defined, as its appearance oscillates between garden, farm and house, anticipating for a redefinition of contemporary tropical house.
▼住宅俯视图，top view of the house ©Ameen Deen
The house with its cascading concrete planter boxes occupied with more than 40 types of edible plants on every floor, creates a strong visual contrast with the surrounding buildings. Its recessed frontage provides additional public spaces for inter-neighborhood interaction. Beyond the boundary, the first planter box is built around an existing jasmine tree. This planter serves an urban furniture, a connection between the couple and their neighbour.
▼住宅外观局部，拥有一系列阶梯式层叠的混凝土种植箱，partial exterior view of the house with its cascading concrete planter boxes ©Ameen Deen
▼混凝土种植箱细节，details of the concrete planter box ©Ameen Deen
The internal spaces are imbued with a strong sense of hospitality and the owner’s attitude towards tropical sustainable urban community living and farming. Upon opening the gate, one could experience the light and cross ventilation while also able to read the whole ground floor visually as there are only glass walls and window in between the front and the back. Separated by the living room and the central staircase of the house, the back of the building is celebrated with a double volume kitchen and dining area with full height glass window that could open outwards towards a green wall at the back.
▼住宅室内一览，起居室和中央楼梯将住宅划分为前后两部分，overview of the interior space, the house is separated by the living room and the central staircase ©Ameen Deen
▼住宅前半部分的起居室，拥有通透的落地窗，the living room at the front part of the house with glass walls and window ©Ameen Deen
▼住宅后半部分双层通高的厨房和餐厅，the double volume kitchen and dining area at the back of the building ©Ameen Deen
▼厨房和餐厅，设有朝向住宅后方室外种植空间的整面玻璃窗户，the kitchen and dining area with full height glass window that could open outwards towards a green wall at the back ©Ameen Deen
▼住宅后半部分的室外种植空间，the green wall space at the back of house ©Ameen Deen
▼中央楼梯井细节，设有天窗采光，details of the central stairs with skylights for the natural light ©Ameen Deen
Taking inspiration from the vernacular tropical house, split bamboo produced by the indigenous people called Temuan from Negeri Sembilan is used as formwork for the concrete work of the planter boxes. While this bamboo texture signifies an abstract organic form of the house, it is also a sustainable solution to low maintenance finish that could age well with the rain and urban pollution.
▼卧室，设有阳台和种植箱，the bedroom with the balcony and the planter box ©Ameen Deen
The Planter Box House is a physical representation of the owner’s lifestyle. It is also a knowledge platform in which the married couple constantly improvises the irrigation and planting system. Such custom made irrigation system is interconnected between the planter boxes that stores and recycles nutritious resources and rainwater within the land. It also allows full and precise manipulation of the planter box from the soil composition to the level of water being supplied to each individual planter box.
▼室内空间局部，partial interior view of the house ©Ameen Deen
▼首层卫生间，the bathroom on the ground floor ©Ameen Deen
▼二层卫生间，the bathroom on the first floor ©Ameen Deen
This project serves as a valuable opportunity and experience not only for the client to learn about farming in tropical setting, but also for the surrounding community. The life of the building is expected to be continually improved, developed and grows organically along with the married couple.
文字：王恩荣 & 李诚毅
Project Name: Planter Box House
Design Office: Formzero
Lead architect: Lee Cherng Yih
Construction Year: 2016
Completion Year: 2017
Typology / use: single family house
Land area: 185m2
Built Area: 340m2
Project location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contractor: Jaya Bintang
Drawing & Photographer: Ameen Deen
Project Description: Caleb Ong & Lee Cherng Yih
Drawing: Ameen Deen
Products: structure system – Bubbledeck, tiles – Feruni, wall paint – Jotun, lighting – Wong Lighting, sanitary – Johnson Suisse