Wednesday, September 19, 2007

green roofs

photo by This Old House

Starter kit.

Add water.

photo by Alycat
Lower Manhattan

The idea of a rooftop garden is the perfect combination of all that is good about materials and all of that is good about nature, namely to be in it. By the good in materials I mean the want you feel when standing in front of scored horizontal panels of porous white travertine. You have to touch it, and it is quiet when you do. Or upon seeing black-as-night hot-rolled steel flooring, you want to lay upon it, because it must be cool and soothing somehow in its sheet-cake likeness.

I am charmed by a garden at the tip top of my building. I can climb up there, like I did when I was little to our tree house. From a roof garden you have a bird's eye view. You have your head in the breezes and are safe from exhaust. You are closer to the sun and can stroll where there's traffic just below. Elevator going up!

The terminology today is simply: green roof. Chicago, Portland, Atlanta and Philadelphia all have city programs to engender green roofs to pop up all over town. There are quite a few environmental benefits, as you would imagine: less run-off from the greater absorption of rain water for one, and cooler temperatures down below. In my search I discovered that New York City is considered an urban heat island. Concrete is an impervious material that retains heat, even after the sun goes down. Flashing back to my first August in NYC, standing in the middle of Union Square dripping sweat from my legs, yes, New York streets are hot. The gardens up above reflect heat rather than retain it, so that's a good thing. Green roofs come in several varieties: prairie-like, garden-lane-strolling-like, zen-garden-like, even farm-like.

Please enjoy.

photo taken by anyhoo
London, England

rooftop in Germany

photo by dreamymo
Toronto, Canada

photo by Payton Chung
Battery Park City, New York

photo taken by jthorvath
111 South Wacker, Chicago, IL

photo taken by holdfast4
Vancouver Public Library

Chicago City Hall

photo by GreenGrid
American Red Cross Center, Chicago, IL

Vancouver Public Library

photo by Deutche Telecom
Art & Exhibition Hall, Bonn, Germany

photo taken by 天曉得。
Rogner Bad Blumau in Styria, Austria

photo by PortlandTransport

photo by identity chris is'

photo by jippolito

photo by grooble

photo by gullevek

photo by driftlessmedia

photo by Flatbush Gardener
Madison Square Garden, New York

photo by Devatar
Venice, Italy

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