archolab Architectural Research Collaborative



Like too many Detroit houses irreparably damaged by disuse, vandalism and fire, the house at 3347 Burnside must come down. With support from the neighborhood, rather than razing it and leaving fallow land, we propose deconstructing the house and reusing the foundation to build a semi subterranean passive geothermal greenhouse.

Precedents in contemporary Bolivia and Renaissance Italy show that greenhouses that use the heat of the earth dramatically expand crop possibilities without the use of additional energy. Bananas grow in the Andes and lemons grow in Milan.

We will use materials from the house and in the vernacular of the neighborhood to integrate ideas culled from stories shared of the home’s history as we experiment with layering, light, transparency and heat. Utilized by an existing community garden after construction, AFTERHOUSE will draw from what once was to become a part of what Detroit is now.

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