BadSeed House @ Urbavore Farm
Kansas City, Missouri
Award: Monsters of Design 2012 Best Unbuilt Project
Published: Lantern Vol I, Issue III
Television: PBS Feast // Video duration: 28:30 // Aired: 04/05/17
Our Little Hobbit House...
The BadSeed House @ Urbavore Farm is an 800 s.f. house for a family of three, submerged into the earth, on a 15 acre site. Designed as a clock of the rotation and revolution of the earth, the house is based around the ritual of the farmer, and of light.
At the center of the house is the farmer’s hearth: the kitchen. Branching off from the kitchen are angled walls that align with sunrise and sunset on critical dates throughout the year: including the beginning and end of harvest season, and the summer and winter solstices.
The first of its kind in Kansas City, the house is self-sufficient in power, water, and waste, and is entirely off-grid. The project is 99.9% toxin-free, and also includes a semi-attached greenhouse and detached barn.
At the center of the house is the farmer's hearth: the kitchen. Branching off from the kitchen are the angled walls that are aligned with sunrise and sunset on critical dates throughout the year: the beginning and end of harvest season, and the summer and winter solstices. Thus, during harvest season in the morning, when the farmer leaves to tend the farm, the space is directly lit, whereas throughout the entire year, the family experiences sunsets while sharing the fruits of their labor together in the evenings.
A daylight analysis optimized the design of the shell and apertures. During the summer months no direct sunlight enters the house with the exception of late evening; during the winter months, between harvest season, direct sunlight enters through a clerestory to heat the concrete slab, providing warmth throughout the night.
During Summer, the east and west ends of the building are able to be opened to allow for prevailing winds to cool the house.
In the Winter, the sun is allowed to heat the floor from sunrise to sunset to maximize the heat gain of the concrete floor.
The Badseed House is a rectangular box within the earth. Its shell is two opposing concrete walls facing north and south, with two glass ends on either side. The roof releases its ties from the ground and breaches the earth's surface, letting light into, and views out of, the main living spaces.
The roof of the house is supported by glulam beams and joists. The soil is a 50-50 mix of topsoil and vermiculite, which reduces the load on the structure while encouraging the growth of low-rooted plants.
2012 Monsters of Design Award Winner
In 2012 the BadSeed House won the Monsters of Design Awards from the Young Architects Forum of the Kansas City chapter of the American Institute of Architects. LIONarchitecture's BadSeed House won the award for "Best Unbuilt Project 2012". Monsters of Design is an annual design awards competition for architects and designers under the age of 40 living and working within 250 miles of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
PBS Show Features BadSeed House
Furthermore, PBS featured the BadSeed House in a recent documentary show about urban farming. The show highlights some of the challenges of the project from its inception through completion, and covers many of its design features. In their interviews, Brooke and Dan gave an insight into day-to-day life on the farm and living in the house.