More and more urban architecture is becoming 'green', with the most popular feature being a green roof. Unlike earth-sheltered homes, such as caves; a green roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil. Green roofs are also referred to as eco-roofs, vegetated roofs and living roofs.
1. The OUTrial House, Poland
Polish architects KWK Promes designed the OUTrial House in Ksiazenice, Poland. the idea was to “carve out” a piece of the grass-covered site, move it up and treat it as the roofing to arrange all the required functions underneath. The only way to reach it was through the interior of the house.
2. Hundertwasser building, Vienna
Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser was an Austrian painter, architect and sculptor. He first achieved fame for his boldly-coloured paintings, but he is more widely renowned today for his revolutionary architectural designs, which incorporate natural features of the landscape, and use of irregular forms in his building design. The Hundertwasserhaus block in Vienna, built between 1983 and 1986, features undulating floors ("an uneven floor is a melody to the feet"), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. He took no payment for the design of Hundertwasserhaus, declaring that it was worth it, to "prevent something ugly from going up in its place".
3. California Academy of Sciences
The new Academy in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, is a masterpiece in sustainable architecture, blends seamlessly into the park's natural setting, and is filled with hundreds of innovative exhibits and thousands of extraordinary plants and animals. The Academy features an aquarium, planetarium, living roof and four story rainforest among other things.
4. SYNTHe, Urban Rooftop, LA
SYNTHe is an urban rooftop on the Flat building in LA, developed by SCI-arc professor Alex Rochas and his students. There’s a restaurant on the ground floor whose menu changes according to the harvest, and compost is returned to the roof. The roof also provides many of the benefits of a green roof, including the filter of pollutants and thermal insulation.
5. School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore
6. Remota Hotel, Chili
The inspiration are the sheep farm’s buildings of Patagonia. Not the main houses of the estancias, their warm interiors closed to their place, but the buildings made for the sheep farm works where daily life in Patagonia is lived, and finds an splendor of its own; the barns for drying the sheep’s hides and for the many other works at the estancias, that have to be done inside because of the cold or the wind, or both.
7. Silberfisch Houseboat
With the cost of living in large cities steadily rising and the recession continuing to bite, there is an increasing need to search for viable alternatives. Bernhard Urich along with Flo Florian and Sascha Akkermann of German design firm Confused-Direction looked to one such alternative in their quest for urban affordability, a thoroughly modern floating home that also allows the flexibility of relocation on a whim.
Sporting a ‘green’ roof planted with vegetation, producing zero emissions and utilising reclaimed wood where possible, the Silberfisch houseboat doesn’t need to occupy a valuable plot of city land so is an exciting opportunity to live in the city at a fraction of the cost of building a house.
8. The ACROS Fukuoka, Japan
In Fukuoka City in Japan, the 'ACROS Fukuoka' building has two very distinct sides: one side looks like a conventional office building with glass walls, but on the other side there is a huge terraced roof that merges with a park. The garden terraces, which reach up to about 60 meters above the ground, contain some 35,000 plants representing 76 species. A huge semicircular atrium and the triangular lobby provide contrast to the greenery, in this space is a symphony hall, offices and shops.
9. The Art and Exhibition Hall, Germany
A giant cyber arts centre, the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany is impressive. The building features the hall that includes seating for up to 500 in the Forum for theatre, concerts, readings, conferences and film showings, an outdoor, covered stage for summer concerts and a stunning roof garden open to visitors.
10. Parliament House Canberra
Parliament House, Canberra is probably one of the world’s earliest and most successful green roofs. The Parliament House building was constructed in 1988 for $1.1 billion. The reason for the design of the green roof at the time was not due to sustainability as an imperative, rather it was conceived of “in order to preserve the shape of the hill on which it was built.” The Parliament building was constructed into the top of the hill and the roof was grassed over.