Fertile House was formerly located on a farm in Tours, France, but as the city grew up the home became boxed in and lost its connection with agriculture. The new owners of the house wanted to regain that connection and hired MU Architects to renovate the two-story farm house into a green haven. An addition on the back provides additional living space connected to a courtyard and a new rooftop garden lets the owners grow their own produce. The renovated home also makes use of solar power and earth cooling tubes to reduce its impact.
The couple who owned the farm house are getting on in years and wanted to update their residence to provide more space for visitors and create a connection with the outdoors. They also wanted the main living spaces to be located on the ground floor including their bedroom suite, while moving the guest quarters upstairs. MU Architects came up with a design to create privacy and ample garden spaces for the couple and their family to enjoy. The new design is U-shaped anchored off the original farm house with one wing hosting the living/dining/kitchen and the other a wall connected to a new garage circling a new courtyard garden.
Located on the top of the new multi-purpose public area is a charming vegetable garden. Soil excavated from the renovation was used to cap the roof to create the garden where the couple enjoy growing their own food and sitting in the sun. As the home used to be part of a larger farm, it seems only fitting that the soil be put back to good use. As part of the renovation, the couple also sought to reduce their impact and included a few other strategies to reduce energy use. A sliding glass door opens the public area up to the courtyard and provides plenty of natural ventilation. The home makes use of earth cooling tubes and solar panels on the roof as well.
Images ©Sophie Carles