MOSS makes cities resilient, livable, healthy and enjoyable again. From grey to green is the mission. MOSS designs and creates green oases in and on top of the buildings. From new innovations regarding rooftop parks/gardens (from extensive to intensive, from recreational to commercial), indoor landscaping, biodomes and urban farming concepts. In previous years MOSS developed advanced solutions to grow living and edible greenery in the city. This all to bring back people’s connection with nature. To bring back the balance between grey and green so it is possible to build resilient cities that are bearing the stress of loss of biodiversity, the effects of urban heating, extreme water conditions (like scarcity and water flooding) and an increasing CO2 footprint. 

Studio Name: Makers of Sustainable Spaces (MOSS)
Design Team: MOSS design team
Area: 100m2 indoor urban farm, 100m2 outdoor rain garden
Year: 2018
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Photography Credits: Cepezed
Other Credits: Hrbs., Cepezed and Albron

Design an indoor urban farm of 100m2 and an outdoor rain garden of 100m2 in a circular pavilion in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The Green House is a fully circular and sustainable pavilion with restaurant and meeting functions in the city centre of Utrecht, The Netherlands. Due to its temporary nature, the pavilion can be completely dismantled and will be rebuilt elsewhere after 15 years, in the same or a different form.

The Greenhouse by MOSS - Sheet2

Pay per use

The circularity of The Green House also stands or falls with the innovativeness and flexibility of the suppliers. This is done, among other things, by no longer purchasing products from them, but by switching to a pay-per-use model. This literally means the  contractor Albron pays only when using the product, for example, Albron pays every time someone makes use of sitting on the chair instead of purchasing them upfront. 

Design Concept

MOSS designed and developed the Urban Farming concept, and researched the indoor urban farm and outdoor herbal rain garden during exploitation. “Don’t try to build a static production greenhouse in a small size, circular pavilion, rather think about an interchangeable concept.”

The Greenhouse by MOSS - Sheet3

The used concept Hrbs. is based on this circular philosophy and changes its crops per season. This makes it possible to use fresh vegetables and herbs directly in the kitchen of The Green House on a daily basis. Growing in such a small greenhouse can and will never provide enough food for all those restaurant visitors. By using an interchangeable system, you have more production and a better presentation on site.

The indoor Urban farm

The Green House houses the indoor urban farm of approximately 100 square meters on the first floor. Its function is to keep fully grown plants good and fresh, and partly to grow them. If you wanted to serve the entire restaurant with the production of this greenhouse, you only would have had food for a few days a year. In order to be able to cook with products all year round, a large part of the crops are therefore grown in the nearby region.

The locally grown crops are brought to The Green House, placed in the greenhouse or directly processed in the kitchen of the restaurant. And when it’s used, new vegetables and herbs are added. A logistical job, because the crops arrive in containers from the grower and the old containers are taken back to the grower after the products have been used in the restaurant. Afterwards the entire process takes place again and again (see infographic below).

The Greenhouse by MOSS - Sheet5

The outdoor Raingarden

The rain garden of approximately 100 square meters behind the pavilion is an 8.5 cm deep water basin with permanent planters on top and the separate modular Hrbs trays. The rain garden is filled with rainwater from which the plants can drink. An hour of rain every night is enough, unfortunately this is not often the case. By placing the plants on a water-storing layer, the plants can determine very well when they need their water, even if it is extremely sunny. There is no pump system in the basin, but there is the option to drain water or to fill the basin with additional tap water when there is a drought.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.