the window unit

Bridging the divide between farm and table, the Window Unit seizes underused airspace for food production.

the competition boards on display at the architecture center in houston. photo credit Ned Dodington.
1 / 3 more↓ the competition boards on display at the architecture center in houston. photo credit Ned Dodington.

The Window Unit is a tiny architectural appendage that creates habitat for fish, bees or chickens directly adjacent to the kitchens and dining rooms in which they may be consumed. The modular habitats plug into a rigid framework that can be mounted in the window openings on the existing facade of virtually any building. It is… The Ultimate Locavorism.

Borrowing design intuition from the much maligned window air conditioner units found in cities around the world, this appendage uses the existing structural frame and the accessible aperture of the window to create a new liminal space, between inside and out, between the human and animal realms. In providing useful food for the household inside, the Window Unit is a form of architectural mutualism. This synergistic relationship couples habitat for animals with edible products for humans, creating a scalable model for increasing urban self-sufficiency.