Green roof meets the ground in Wave House

Maison Vague
© Patrick Nadeau

Three years ago the Wave House was a set of renderings by French architect Patrick Nadeau, looking like one of those paper projects that would never happen. Comments included "seriously, who is going to mow the roof?"


Now it is has been completed, and it came out looking surprisingly like those renderings. According to Dezeen, the planting is "primarily to provide thermal insulation but also to allow the house to fit in with its rural surroundings."

I have noted often that green roofs are changing architecture and planning, in particular when the roofs become walls and meet the ground. "Architects are using green roofs to make buildings become part of the landscape; the dividing line between architecture and landscape architecture disappears." That is what is happening here; the architect writes: "The traditional relationship between house and garden is changed, disturbed even; the project encompasses both in the same construction."

With respect to having to mow the roof,

The plants were selected for their aesthetic qualities and their ability to adapt to the environment. The technical challenge lay primarily in the steep slope that required the development of innovative systems for the maintenance of land and water retention.

The house is alive, changing its appearance, colour and odour with the seasons. New plants can be brought by the wind, insects or birds and gives the building a certain character or even a fallow ground-wave, hence the name La Maison-vague, which could equally and poetically signify an ocean wave or an open field (terrain vague).

The house is built entirely of wood (structure, hull and facades gears). Only the foundation is concrete. The thermal performance is ensured by the north-south orientation, the vegetation of the hull and double wall facades. The outer walls are made of polycarbonate and the inner walls of glass and wood. A small wood stove in the living room provides heating for the entire space.

More images in Dezeen

Green roof meets the ground in Wave House
Patrick Nadeau's experimental hump-shaped house gets built in France.

Related Content on