The many benefits of living in the city come with a few drawbacks as well – namely, the lack of yards and garden space. French designers Barreau & Charbonnet have come up with a charming idea to put gardens into even the most cramped of urban domiciles.

The Volet Vegetal is a simple addition that fits onto the outside of a window. There, it gets all of the sunshine it needs while making the building look more vibrant and lively.

But the really compelling thing about the Volet Vegetal is its ability to transition from a horizontal garden – sticking straight out from the window sill – to a vertical one, completely filling the area of the open window.

As the garden changes position via a simple pair of pulleys, the troughs holding the plants pivot, keeping them constantly level. The horizontal position allows for the maximum amount of sunshine to reach the plants.

When the garden is brought into the fully vertical position it offers easy access for care and watering. In this position it also acts as a sort of natural window blind, filtering the cityscape outside through a layer of beautiful growing plants.

The creators of the concept have also thought ahead for the winter months, envisioning an indoor frame system. The window unit could be transferred to the indoor frame when the weather turns cold, transforming the setup into a year-round green space.