An old Swedish barn has been transformed into a gorgeous low-impact greenhouse where people and plants thrive together in harmony. Located on the edge of Lake Vättern in southern Sweden, the Uppgrenna Nature House is a greenhouse, spa, and conference building that grows food sustainably with a closed-loop water recycling system. Gothenburg studio Tailor Made Arkitekter designed the eco-friendly structure and modeled it after the Naturhus, an energy-efficient house-within-a-greenhouse concept developed by Swedish architect Bengt Warne.
The Uppgrenna Nature House blends contemporary design with traditional Swedish architecture. The building’s gabled shape, simple doors, and earthy red-painted cladding on the structure’s lower half evoke Swedish barns and houses, while the insulating glass shell atop and timber-lined interior design are of a more modern aesthetic. The upper Mediterranean climate greenhouse occupies nearly half the building footprint and contains large planting beds for fruits, flowers, and vegetables; a small pond with a waterfall; and a variety of citrus trees. The lower levels house the dining and meeting facilities, spa treatment rooms, and guest bedrooms.
“The vision is to make a self-sustainable house that produces food, instead of waste,” said lead architect Frederik Olson. “Living in a greenhouse encourages a sustainable and non-toxic lifestyle.” The Uppgrenna Nature House is not hooked up to a sewer system and reuses all of its graywater and blackwater as irrigation in a closed-loop system. Built primarily out of wood and other zero-VOC materials, the well-insulated building maintains a low energy footprint aided by passive solar and natural ventilation.
The Uppgrenna Nature House opened in June 2015 and is available for event rentals, spa visits, and as short-term accommodation. The kitchen serves vegetarian fare using produce grown in the greenhouse. The project was created in collaboration with Greenhouse Living, a consultancy group that works on developing eco-friendly Naturhus projects.