The clients behind a new house in the Japanese city of Maebashi, northwest of Tokyo, asked the architects at Snark Architects and OUVI for an inexpensive home built with affordable materials. Their other request was that the home include a large space devoted to their favorite hobby: Nurturing cacti and succulents all year around.
The result is The House in Nakauchi, which from one angle looks like a regular home, covered with wood planks and windows. But from another angle, it’s a greenhouse clad completely in glass, which glows like a beacon at night. The two-story greenhouse space opens onto a porch, and can be accessed through an outdoor stairwell, too. Designed by Snark Architects’ Yu Yamada and Tomohiro Okada and OUVI’s Shin Yokoo and Kakeru Tsuruta, the house was finished in March. It’s the perfect home for people who love gardening, even through the winter.
The popularity of indoor gardening has been attributed by some to changing socioeconomic trends: The Independent‘s Kashmira Gander ties it to how expensive it has become to have kids these days, writing that “[my roommate’s and my own] plants seem to be filling a space in our lives that would have in generations past been taken up by the stomping feet and sticky fingers of children.” Gander argues that since people her age are living in a state of suspended childhood thanks to job insecurity and rising real estate prices, they don’t have a chance to have children and, instead, they give their love to plants.
It’s an anecdotal observation backed up by some evidence: Houseplant sales are spiking according to many retailers, and in 2016, the U.S. National Gardening Report reported that 5 million out of 6 million Americans new to gardening are millennials. The boom is reflected in the surge in popularity of plant and gardening-focused social media accounts.
The House in Nakuachi is used by plants and kids alike, according to Dezeen. Still, it’s a dream home for anyone who loves plants, millennial or not, and all the cacti, aloe plants, and bonsai currently dying in their tiny one-bedroom apartments.