The sky's the limit


Vauxhall Sky gardens:

As garden-in-architecture skygardens are new to the urban design agenda. I suppose what we are talking about here when considering the introduction of skygardens into the garden and architecture typology is a form of greenhouse or biodome in the sky. Vauxhaull it would appear is a semi-private garden akin to the penthouse suite or the executive boardroom. While Fenchurch Street seems to promote public thoroughfare and viewing…even though it is not a podium space but rather akin to  garden- as- observation- deck.

Other projects are shown on  and but it will be even more interesting as the type gains popularity and skygardens become a more developed typology….

20 Fenchurch street:


6 thoughts on “The sky's the limit

  1. Tom Turner

    When one thinks about the great success of the Kensington Roof Garden the wonder is that any modern office buildings in London do not have green roofs. I love them!
    Here are some possible explanations as to why they have not been built, so far: (1)most office buildings do not have real clients, in the sense of owner-users controlling the design process (2) architects care most about internal space and elevations (3) property developers have not seen any profit to be made from green roofs (4) structural engineers regard them as an irrelevant hazard (5) the planning profession has sacrificed its intellectual independence and become an arm of government (6) governments much prefer talking about sustainability, climate change, green issues etc to doing anything sensible about it (7) the landscape profession has been far too timid in saying how things should be done

  2. Christine

    Hmmm. Seems like green roofs need a little more promoting and a few well heeled forward thinking advocates to make the enthusiasm infectuous! [].

    1. Publishing the best built examples worldwide is a good form of advocacy.

    2. Imagination + innovation = future. Green walls, green roofs, sky gardens…etc

    3. Profits do not always need to be direct – often being (slightly) ahead of trend is enough to give a developer the market edge. Most developers understand how this translates in dollar terms.

    4. I think Santiago Calatrava is more (structurally) plant friendly than some. Will we vote for Richard Meier? []

    5. Some of my first year planning students came up with some great environmental video clips.

    6. Private enterprise can lead.

    7. Ditto.

  3. Tom Turner

    I think the green roofs isssue will play out like votes for women: one day the idea is unthinkable; next day the alternative is unthinkable. But I do not know when the Day of Change will come!

  4. Christine

    It seems the Barbican has got the march on the garden conservatory! As well as the water garden…[]

  5. Tom Turner

    The Barbican has a bad reputation, because of its endlessly confusing, and windswept, pedestrian decks. But, as you note, it has two really good features: the conservatory and the water garden.

  6. Christine

    Although the Barbican has a bad reputation for all the reasons you state – history may be a little kinder to it – merely because of the introduction to landscape of the two garden typologies mentioned. I could confidently say this would be so in architecture. I presume it is true also of landscape?


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