Another week, another inventive design concept geared towards greenthumbed urbanites without a backyard — and in this case, a balcony — to spare. And this one, in my opinion, is a doozy.
The creation of Paris-based design/architecture firm Barreau&Charbonnet, Volet Végétal is a drawbridge-esque hanging garden contraption that mounts against a windowsill and can be lowered to a horizontal position and back up again as needed with a pulley system. With the Volet Végétal framework (which, judging by the video embedded below, looks surprisingly easy to install) gardenless gardeners have the ability to extend their windowsill plots by another five feet or so. Although it may seem potentially messy, it’s not as bad as you may think: The integrated planter boxers are placed into frames that pivot on fulcrums, preventing any spillage as the Volet Végétal is moved from a vertical to horizontal position. In the event of stormy weather, the entire unit can be easily removed from the window and brought inside.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to watch Barreau and Charbonnet themselves (I assume) testing out a prototype unit. What do you think of Volet Végétal compared to SkyFarms, another conceptual, pulley-based hanging garden system that I featured last week? Although they’re different entirely creatures — SkyFarms are meant for balconies and VoletVégétal for windows — which do you think is more practical and attractive? Any potential flaws that you can see?