Green the Roof
From urban rooftop gardens to living roofs that help homeowners save on energy costs, you'll find plenty of ideas for the final (green) frontier: the roof.
If you live in a large metro like we do, odds are you see mostly bleak-hued buildings. Lots and lots of buildings. One thing we don’t see enough of? Greenery. Of any sort, really. (Unless you count the dog park, or rather, the patch of brown grass down the street.) We’re so nature-deprived we’d welcome the sight of some weeds.
From the United States to Poland to South Korea, living roofs have taken off. They provide natural insulation, help control with runoff, and pack a slew of cool features—it's no wonder these building canopies have gained popularity. We've gathered some of the most interesting and unexpected green roofs planted with everything from sod to succulents here for your viewing pleasure.
Dwell explores the extensive reasons why the grass is intensely greener when it's on the roof.
In southwest Poland, architect Robert Konieczny, of KWK Promes, raises the roof—with sod intact—on Jacek Perkowski’s modernist rural getaway.
With a sleek prototype in Emeryville, California, under its belt, Simpatico Homes sets out to redefine prefab's cost—and footprint.
Two hours later, revivified by a pair of conga players’ exuberant performance on the 2 train, I hustle out at the corner of Third Avenue and East 149th in the South Bronx, once an international symbol of urban blight. A man hands me a postage-stamp-size pamphlet titled “Messiah Is the Prince of Peace”; another, buying a bag of roasted nuts, offers directions to the Brook in a gregarious voice, looking pleased.