Eco-Friendly House Built Around A Vertical Garden

Wanting to feel connected to nature is not uncommon and a lot of modern and contemporary houses are designed to fulfill this desire. However, few designs take it as seriously as that of the MeMo House. This is a residence designed in 2016 by BAM! arquitectura. It’s located in Buenos Aires, in Argentina and it only offers a total of 215 square meters of living space.

The roof of the house is a garden, making it seem like nature is taking over the architectureView in gallery
The roof of the house is a garden, making it seem like nature is taking over the architecture
The architecture of the house is shaped by the owner's passion for landscapingView in gallery
The architecture of the house is shaped by the owner’s passion for landscaping

The house occupies a small plot between two existing buildings. Designing a home that could fit here comfortably was challenging enough and to that the client a series of special requests. Given his passion for landscaping and the serious desire to make this a sustainable and environmentally-friendly home, the architects were asked to include as much green space as possible in their design and to preserve and even add greenery to the house is various forms.

The house sits on a plot between two existing buildings, with a long and narrow courtyard at the backView in gallery
The house sits on a plot between two existing buildings, with a long and narrow courtyard at the back
The swimming pool is positioned at the center of the yard, with greenery growing around itView in gallery
The swimming pool is positioned at the center of the yard, with greenery growing around it
Solar panels are installed on the roof of the house, suggesting a sustainable design approachView in gallery
Solar panels are installed on the roof of the house, suggesting a sustainable design approach

In response to these special requests, the architects did a great job at connecting the house to nature and turning it into an eco-friendly retreat. The defining design element of the project is a vertical garden which connects all the floors of the house, covering part of the roof and terrace and then descending into the house alongside a concrete staircase. This way an interior garden was created. The architects framed it with glass walls so it can be admired from all the interior areas of the house.

Full-height windows and sliding glass doors open the living spaces to the backyardView in gallery
Full-height windows and sliding glass doors open the living spaces to the backyard

In order for this design approach to work, a lot of things had to complement each other perfectly. The exact placement of the house on the site was important and so was its orientation. It was important to capture the maximum amount of sunlight, especially since the house is powered by solar panels on the roof. That’s not the only detail that makes this house sustainable. There’s also the fact that rainwater is used for irrigation throughout.

The roof garden descends on the lower levels, forming an interior gardenView in gallery
The roof garden descends on the lower levels, forming an interior garden
The living area is squeezed between the interior garden and a covered outdoor lounge spaceView in gallery
The living area is squeezed between the interior garden and a covered outdoor lounge space

Native plants were chosen for their familiarity with the land and the climate but also because they’re quite resilient and require little water to stay healthy. They grow along the central staircase, adding color and freshness to the whole house and welcoming nature inside. At the same time, the glass box that frames the staircase and garden also brings sunlight inside the house.

Vegetation grows alongside the concrete staircase which connects all the floors of the houseView in gallery
Vegetation grows alongside the concrete staircase which connects all the floors of the house
The interior decor is simple and centered around pure and basic materialsView in gallery
The interior decor is simple and centered around pure and basic materials