In 1920, the reputed architect Le Corbusier developed the “Five points of Architecture” as the pillars of modern architecture style. One important concept within it has been gaining more attention in recent years: rooftop gardens. According to Le Corbusier, roof gardens are an opportunity to utilize the unused space by creating an enjoyable area on top of the building. They can also be used as a planting space to serve the local community as well as a gathering point for people. Nowadays, the roof gardens are not only restricted to residential buildings. City planners and developers are now adopting this sustainable design into different construction projects. Here are seven examples of unique rooftop garden solutions found on different types of buildings and structures across major world cities:
1. Rail Line Rooftop Gardens: The High Line, New York City
An old rail line in New York City was given another purpose. In 2009, the first section of the park was released after a design competition between 720 teams. It has numerous species of vegetation, such as perennials, trees, and grasses. To learn more about the construction, preparation, and plantation of the High Line visit TheHighLine.org.
2. University Rooftop Gardens: Trent University, Ontario, Canada
Trent University in Ontario, Canada transformed two of their buildings’ roofs into gardens where food is grown for the students and local residents. It’s also used as a research facility to study the effects of carbon emissions on crop production and the benefits that plants provide as air purifiers. There are also many flowers and grasses helping to decrease air pollution.
3. Hotel Rooftop Gardens: Stadthalle Hotel, Vienna, Austria
This hotel in Vienna, Austria was renovated to be a model for sustainability. Besides the gorgeous roof-garden, which has many different flower species, it has wall-gardens all over the building. For consequence of the renovations and green-adaptions, like photo-voltaic panels and other arrangements, it produces energy more than it consumes, without loosing the luxury and comfort of a great hotel.
4. Office Building Rooftop Gardens: Brooklyn Grange, Brooklyn, NY
The world’s largest rooftop farm is located in Brooklyn, New York. This farm is 65,000 square feet of vegetable production, flowering vegetation, and even chicken and beekeeping. This successful urban farm company provides fresh produce to local restaurants and CSA programs. Learn more about the construction of their rooftop here.
5. Parking Garage Rooftop Gardens: Cambridge, Massachusetts
This rooftop garden is located on top of a parking garage where people can relax and enjoy a walk during lunch time. This green space is free and open to the public. This sustainable design represents a great example of transforming a grey block of concrete into a beautiful and natural landscape.
6. Hospital Rooftop Gardens: Beth Israel Hospital, New York City
This hospital in New York City has a 19,000 square foot green roof with diverse shrubs, trees, mosses, and herbaceous perennials. This green roof is one of the largest in New York City and dramatically helps with stormwater runoff.
7. Shopping Mall Rooftop Gardens: Namba Parks, Osaka, Japan
This incredible rooftop in Japan is located at Namba Parks, a shopping mall in Osaka. It has stunning trees and gardens that create the sense of a waterfall on eight different levels. This rooftop garden also provides space to grow your own vegetables and crops.
In all these examples of unique rooftop gardens, it’s clear that green architecture can also be beautiful and useful at the same time. There are a lot more examples which prove how daily exposure to natural surroundings brings endless benefits.