The Triangle of the Vegetables: Architecture as Intermediary of Empowerment and AutonomyNatura Futura Arquitectura
Following social insertion methods, Natura Futura brings organic food production to Ecuador’s society through a simple but effective citizen-made bamboo greenhouse.
Huertomanias is a space to motivate autonomy among people who have had difficulties entering the labor market due stigmas associated with mental health problems. It is an urban garden, which promotes work and income generation within a framework of respect for individuality, following a production model that defies the typical models in our society. It offers organic and artisanal products of a high quality. The requirement was a greenhouse built on a low budget, which could help generate crops that needed protection from excessive moisture or insects, so as to be able to broaden the scope of intervention.
Located in Nayón, a parish of 15,000 inhabitants, which has the particularity of a warm subtropical climate that favors a broad range of crops, the project takes advantage of the location and, with the help of greenhouses, produces various species for both consumption and decoration. Their sale is of one of the characteristic activities of the town, which is also known as “the Garden of Quito”.
The Triangle of Vegetables can be seen in the distance like a ghost in the middle of the mountain: lightweight, compact, transparent. Built with local materials – bamboo, wood, greenhouse plastic – and taking a basic geometric figure (triangle) as its reference, its shape allows for multiple layers of light and shade during the day. Thus, different types of plants and seedlings that will later be transferred to the orchards of the organization are categorized by sector and levels.
During the construction process, each of the partners gained skills that enabled them to conduct the work: transporting materials, learning how to use a power saw, drills, hardware, and identifying tools and techniques. They learned how to work as part of a team.
The project allows for generating synergies that can foster self-esteem and provide for the development of various potentialities: skills in taking on tasks of responsibility and steps toward achieving autonomy in economic matters, thus working toward a collective productivity.