Architecture That Can Feed You: Penda’s Yin & Yang House Addresses Our Detachment With Food


Courtesy of Penda Austria

Courtesy of Penda Austria

As a generation that has the most flexibility in day-to-day life, live-work dwellings are becoming more and more popular; a topic that is expected to be seen everywhere in 2018. We can now work anywhere as long as we have a decent internet connection and something to type on. Penda’s latest design, Yin & Yang house, calls upon millennials to take advantage of this ability and move back to the countryside for a better quality of life.

Yin & Yang house in Germany’s countryside will provide a small family the resources to grow all of their own food for a self-sufficient lifestyle whilst establishing a harmonious dialogue between the living and working spaces in the home. Addressing our detachment with the origins of our food and the unsustainable industrial agriculture, the house will become a living organism that will transform as the seasons’ pass, sculpted by nature.

Whenever architects design a building, they take an area away that used to belong to nature. We try to give this space back to plants on the roof. At the same time we provide a gardening-system for the owners with greenhouses in winter and rows of planters for the rest of the year – Christ Precht, founding partner of Penda.

Continuing the relation with nature, the roof of the house will be a landscape in itself; two peaks in opposite corners will form mountains that a valley will run through. The ascending roof will also facilitate rainwater harvesting that channels the water to the ground to be reused on dry days for the plants. Depending on the time of year Yin & Yang house will evolve and grow. In the design, Penda has integrated flexible greenhouses for the winter months and gardening planters for herbs, vegetables and fruit on the roof.


Courtesy of Penda Austria

Courtesy of Penda Austria

Courtesy of Penda Austria

Courtesy of Penda Austria

“Growing your own herbs, vegetables and fruits, changes our relationship to food. In our garden, we try to grow as much of our daily nutrition as somehow possible,” says Fei Tang. “You know what you eat and taste the work and love that comes from your own garden. Real food becomes part of your identity. The same way that architecture does. To combine both in one harmonious design, gives a poetic image for a small plot on the countryside.”

When architecture supports the food we eat, it becomes so much more than just a “building” – a rare situation when it comes to the ever-bustling cities. Penda is calling other architects to adopt this strategy to encourage the younger generation of creatives to move to the countryside. The Yin & Yang house was exhibited at the Documenta in Kassel, Germany, as part of an effort from architects to revive the region of Edersee.


Courtesy of Penda Austria

Courtesy of Penda Austria

Courtesy of Penda Austria

Courtesy of Penda Austria
  • Location: Edertal, Germany
  • Studio: Penda Austria
  • Project Team: Chris Precht, Fei Tang Precht, Dayong Sun, Zizhi Yu
  • Area: 75.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017

News via: Penda.