A creative pulley system allows apartment-dwellers to stretch their green thumb.

While plans are in the works for a 100,000 square-foot hydroponic rooftop farm in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, urban gardening options are slightly more limited for the average city dweller without access to a sprawling warehouse rooftop. As a solution, Paris-based design collective Barreau&Charbonnet offer the Volet Végétal, a system of planters that uses a drawbridge-like contraption to utilize the space directly outside an apartment window.

Rows of custom-sized planters are fitted into a wooden frame that is then mounted against the windowsill. A pulley system allows one to pivot the entire frame horizontally, extending five feet perpendicular to the window. To water, trim, and harvest the plants, one simply reels the planters back into a vertical position for easy access. In colder months, the entire frame can be moved indoors, serving as a free-standing indoor garden. As Natalia Repolovsky mentioned on Shoebox Dwelling, the Volet Végétal functions much like an obsolete fire escape, extending access to that precious commodity we call space beyond the small interiors of many city apartments.

All images via Shoebox Dwelling.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    The Rivers of the U.S., Collected Into a Nifty Subway Map

    A designer who spent his youth floating on rafts has conjured up a delightful transit guide to America’s waterways.

  2. Transportation

    5 Reasons to Be Wary of Elon Musk's Hyperloop

    High-speed vactrains might be the ticket for a Martian colony. As a practical transit investment for Earth, the technology has a long way to go.

  3. An illustration of a grid of canned food
    Equity

    What's the Matter With Little Free Food Pantries?

    They highlight food insecurity, without doing much to take a bite out of it.

  4. The Salk Institute, near San Diego
    Design

    This Is Your Brain on Architecture

    In her new book, Sarah Williams Goldhagen presents scientific evidence for why some buildings delight us and others—too many of them—disappoint.

  5. A woman works in a store that has a sign indicating it is going out of business, in Nogales, Arizona
    Life

    How Cities Can Save Small Shops

    Some places are already taking action, but New York City is lagging behind. Here’s a blueprint for keeping local retail healthy.