Volet Vegetal planter

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.

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Volet Vegetal urban window garden

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.

Volet Vegetal folded and unfolded

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 garden, 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.

Volet Vegetal from inside

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.

Here’s the project description from the Jardin Jardins contest:

The window-mounted chassis, which holds three planters, is operated via pulley, as a sort of drawbridge outfitted with houseplants and herbs:”Volet Végétal”‘ is a project that we thought for a Parisian design contest “Jardin Jardin” as an industrial product for people who are living in apartment deprived of gardens and balcony. Users have just to plug the structure on the outside of their windows. Horizontal position to enlarge a green view on the city land by trying to go further from the facade of the building and get more ornamental stand for plant. Vertical to create a shutter of light, a filter for green air and also for an easy garden upkeeping.