Rooftop gardens might seem like a development of modernity, but they actually date back to antiquity. From the famed ziggurats of Mesopotamia to the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, roof gardens have not only served to delight people, but also to grow food, provide flood control and insulate homes. Many cities across the globe are promoting the installation of rooftop gardens for these very reasons.
Rooftop gardens are most commonly found in cities where free ground level space is limited, heat build-up is of concern and water overflow is an issue. Gardens can actually reduce the overall heat absorption of a building, thus reducing energy consumption and helping fight smog. But that’s not the only thing these little environmental superheroes do. They also provide space for growing affordable and sustainable crops, recreation and migratory way stations for animals.
Just as ancient rooftop gardens were instrumental in human survival, modern roof gardening might make a difference in our own future. Roof garden advocates believe that roof farming can be the answer to food insecurity in cities and environmentalists believe that these green spaces will have a positive impact on climate change mitigation and adaptations. For beauty, for economics, for survival, rooftop gardens are bringing the past into the 21st century, and the following gardens are no different.
These 25 rooftop oases are so stunning, they would make King Nebuchadnezzar’s jaw drop.
This modern concrete home is accented by multiple lush roof gardens. Modern architecture often brings the environment inside and allots space for outdoor living, including patios and gardens. Source: Picksa
A cabin and shed built into a hill features a perennial garden flanked by a natural stone staircase. Source: Eco Furniture Blog
This Willy Wonka styled apartment complex in Darmstadt, Germany has an actual forest growing on its rooftop. Source: Post
Roof gardens are beneficial in reducing the effects of temperature versus rooftops without gardens. Source: GVCC NYC
Rooftop gardens also reduce the rate and volume of rain run-off, as the plants and soil absorb rainfall. Excessive run-off from impermeable structures like concrete buildings can lead to overflow events, which are a common issue in large cities. Source: GVCC NYC
Over 75 different species of plants are represented by 35,000 plants on the terraced roof of the Acros Fukuoka building in Japan. Source: Architecture News Plus
Central London is home to the Kensington Roof Gardens, 1.5 acres on top of the former Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street. Source: Xclusive Touch
The Gary Comer Youth Center Roof Garden in Chicago is worked by students and provides fruits and vegetables to them, local restaurants and the center’s café. Source: ASLA
This hidden garden rises over 25 floors above Sydney, an oasis in the middle of skyscrapers. Not only are gardens beautiful, but they also provide getaway space from the hustle and bustle of cities. Source: Secret Gardens
Chicago’s City Hall even has a rooftop garden. Big cities like Chicago, New York, London and Singapore are leading the way in rooftop gardens and putting the environmental movement at the forefront of urban planning. Source: Urban Magazine
The Brunley Living Roofs at Melbourne’s Brunley Campus are a teaching and research facility designed to show how communities can be transformed through green changes.
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh commissioned a roof garden to sit over its collection of rare books and antiquities. The garden provides leisure space and an artistic statement. Source: Pinterest
Park Royal Hotel in Singapore is a surrealist fantasy. Modern architecture blends with organic shapes that all lead into multiple sky-gardens. All four stories of the hotel feature lush gardens that complement the nearby public park. It’s green building, modern style. Source: Freshome