The next generation of green roofs will be designed to ensure the survival of specific species providing much needed ecological space in the urban environment. BAM believe the next ecological objective in green roof design is the creation of biotropes – living habitats for species such as migratory birds.
While not a roof habitat exactly, Neil Oxley came up with the idea of a man made tree for the city of Leeds to support bats, birds, butterflies, insects and even the much maligned urban fox. Kadas’ research into the potential for green roofs to support rare invertebrates suggests there is greater potential for green roofs to promote urban habitats.
Restoration ecologist and resource planner Paul Kepart of Rana Creek believes in the near future green roofs will be graded according to a biodiversity index. In keeping with these concerns plant ecologist Christine Thuring emphasises the need for green roofs to form a series of linked habitats or archipelagos.
It still seems some way off before we start to think of ways of providing green habitats – even roof space – for our larger land based fauna currently being displaced and endangered by urban activity.
The greentainer project by Exposure architects demonstrates the innovative social potential of relatively simple green roof spaces. By importing a modern green house to function as a flexible space for art exhibitions, soirees etc the social use of a roof garden space can be enhanced without detracting from the vibrancy of its outdoor quality.
The Residences 900 in Chicago is a beatifully executed (but more conventional) social space on a green roof. However, the benefits of a mixed garden to ecology cannot be underestimated. The roof garden on the 17th floor of the Washington Mutual Bank is a little more zen. It creates a contemplative social environment reminiscent of a wind swept plain – yet provides views across Elliot Bay.
The Made of Light project by Speirs Major and Associates Lighting Architects http://www.madeoflight.com/mol/site_map.htm is a wonderful e-book that discusses the relationship between architecture and light in 12 simple themes.
1. Source – natural and artifical
2. Contrast – light and darkness
3. Surface – light and texture
4. Colour – spectral colour
5. Movement – where time meets space
6. Function – the ability to see
7. Form – visual shape of mass and volume
8. Space – the absence of mass
9. Boundary – to unify or separate
10. Scale – the comprehension of size
11. Image – creating identity and charater
12. Magic – phenomena which can inspire us
The photographs above pick up many of these themes in the use of light in the landscape.
Visions of Sydney at Hells Gate
A case of de ja vu. Sometimes a familiar landmark isn’t quite what you think it is. And you experience a sense of disorientation…haven’t I seen this place before? It is somehow familiar yet very strangely different…