Green Roof Design Inspiration | 4 Awesome Projects

green roof design

Article by Joanna Laska – We take a look at four terrific landscape architecture projects for green roof design inspiration.  Green roof design is probably one of the best inventions of horticulture and landscaping, that’s a fact. Not only do they have hundreds of environmental advantages but also, they can look awesome too! Green roofs – though they weren’t called that back then –existed thousands of years ago. Even if you’re no expert on this, you have probably heard of the “hanging gardens of Babylon”. And yes, they were truly amazing, and people knew – even back then – it was good. Right now the gardens in the sky are making their way back to the top of the list of “most wanted” for their great design and eco-friendly features. Green roofs probably are one of the few ways to truly improve the quality of people’s lives, especially those living in highly urbanised areas. A few of the great benefits of gardens on the roofs are that they provide great protection against noise and air pollution, they act as pollutant binders, and of course they provide extra green space, when that is lacking on the ground plane. Generally speaking, green roofs are the improvement for the micro- and macroclimate we live in. When good planting, design and sustainability are incorporated, green roofs are a true game-changer. In this article, we’re going to look at the 4 best green roof designs which definitely can be a powerful inspiration for all of us.

Green Roof Design Inspiration

1. The Rooftop Park At Saint John’s Bulwark

Designed by OSLO Ontwerp Stedelijke en Landschappelijke Omgeving, this rooftop park in s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) in the Netherlands is probably one of the most surprising green roof designs yet. What’s so special about this design? Well, probably the fact that its modern design has been seamlessly assimilated into the historical site of a former fortification and a main entrance to the city. What makes the building even more amazing is the fact that it is located literally in the river bank. Right now the building is home to a museum.

The Rooftop Park at Saint John’s Bulwark. Photo credit : Niels van Empel

The design of this rooftop park probably wasn’t the easiest task the designers at OSLO had to work on, as the planting space was highly limited due to the requirement of a very shallow depth of the possible planting beds. Nevertheless, a stunning project has been achieved. Cor-ten steel, steel columns, honey locust trees and various carex species are the highlight of the incredible pocket-park green roof design.

The Rooftop Park at Saint John’s Bulwark. Photo credit : Rosanne Schrijver

2. Orto Fra I Cortili – Garden Among The Courtyards

This wooden-pallet-based roof garden in Brera, Milan, designed by Piuarch, is definitely something you have never seen before. This project makes the difference when it comes to budgeting of the projects, as the base of this design is… wooden pallets. Believe or not, Piuarch really was able to shine a new light onto this material. This cleverly designed rooftop garden, surrounded by other taller buildings, creates a comfy space, which people in Brera really needed. The modular system of pallets hosts four types of plants, which really are eye candy. Repetitive straight lines of the wooden pallets, colourful varieties of salad, and yellow and purple pansies are the core of this design. This rooftop garden is the proof that you don’t need much to create something extremely beautiful.

Orto fra i cortili. Image courtesy of Piuarch

3. Dock Street Roof Terrace

Now, this one it truly breathtaking. Located in DUMBO neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York, and perfectly designed by James Corner Field Operations this rooftop is more than likely a place where everybody and anybody can feel comfortable.

Dock Street Roof Terrace, by James Corner Field Operations

Dock Street Roof Terrace, by James Corner Field Operations

This green roof design has been made comfy by the use of carefree or ‘loose’ planting in the form of yarrow, moor grass, coneflower and calamint. Of course, the plants have been accompanied by cleverly-designed wooden seating, metal balustrades and mirror elements which reflect the view from the garden. All of these features create a smart balance between the old and the new, the strict and the free. It’s really a challenge for me to state what the best feature of this garden is. Maybe it can be the linear water features, wooden decks, plentiful seating places or maybe the view from the garden.
green roof design

Dock Street Roof Terrace, by James Corner Field Operations

4. Comturney- Keller Roof Garden

Last but definitely not least on the list of our 4 best inspirations is the Comturney-Keller roof garden located on Mainau Island in Germany. Designed by ZinCo and Thomas Steinamann, this innovative construction is another historically-based project on our list. Comturney-Keller was once a medieval fortress, but now it serves as a one-storey restaurant. The amount and excellent use of planting combined with innovative construction technology means that this project offers thousands of possibilities. What’s amazing about this rooftop garden park is the fact that its construction is so strong that it not only allows users to walk on it, but also it lets in small vehicles such as road sweepers.

green roof design

Comturey-Keller green roof. Image courtesy of ZinCo

Being accessible on three sides directly from the ground and the clever use of planting such as shrubs, perennials, and small trees means that this rooftop park can act like a junction between the ground and a garden in the sky. And of course, let’s not forget the stunning view which can be admired from the top. Which of the rooftop gardens are on YOUR bucket list? CLICK TO COMMENT – Thank you for reading another article on Landscape Architect Network – If you believe in what we do and want to support our mission to promote the profession of landscape architecture on a global scale, make sure to check out our VIP club HERE!

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