The Greenhouse Which Grows Legs

BAT Studio, Staines-upon-Thames, 2015


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  • In lowered position    
  • Lowered and raised via hydraulic legs    
  • Internal view towards mirrored columns    
  • Aluminium mirrors bonded to glulam columns     
  • Hydraulic mechanisms     
  • Control Equipment    
  • Roof and column detail    
  • Column and window detail    
  • Sun set reflections     
  • Ambiguous reflections    
  • Lighting at dusk    
  • Raised and Lowered Perspectives    
  • Exploded Axo    
  • Elevation - West    
  • Elevation - South - Raised Position    
  • Plan - Floor Structure    
  • Section - Short    
  • Details - A    
  • Details - B    

A greenhouse which can be lifted off the ground to protect it from flooding.

Constructed in an area which experiences frequent flooding, the Greenhouse Which Grows Legs incorporates a novel approach to flood protection. The building is fabricated on a bespoke steel frame with four hydraulic legs, capable of lifting the building 800mm from the ground on command.

The structure of the building itself is formed from glue laminated timber sections. Along the building’s most prominent facade, the ‘glulam’ columns are expressed externally and have mirrors bonded to their sides. The result is an ambiguous visual effect which blurs the building, its contents and its surroundings. As the building becomes established and filled with plants we hope this effect will become better and better.

The aim was to construct an experimental building exploring a novel approach to flood defence whilst not compromising the quality of the buildings design. It is a Greenhouse Which Grows Legs - but we think it’s also a very nice greenhouse!


  • Begun: Oct 2015
  • Completed: Nov 2015
  • Floor area: 29m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £45,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Sep 2015
  • Procurement: Bespoke
  • Address: Roxana, Friary Island, Wraysbury, Staines-upon-Thames, TW19 5JS, United Kingdom

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