Green roofs are changing architecture: Here's a whole school built under an undulating green roof

Green roof over school
© Sergio Grazia via Designboom

For years I have been saying that Green roofs are changing architecture; where it used to be that the top of a building was black tar and covered with mechanical equipment, now you sometimes cannot tell where the ground ends and the roof starts. Here is a terrific example from Designboom, a campus outse Paris designed by Jean-Philippe Pargade architecte. The most dramatic feature is the landscaped area, which in in fact a green roof on top of laboratories and public areas.

According to Designboom:

The design is defined by the so-called ‘landscape wave’, an undulating concrete roof canopy topped with a vast area of plantation. The vaulted structure uses techniques often found in bridge building, and fittingly houses a vast concrete testing lab. The accessible green roof not only provides the campus with external areas for recreation, but also reinforces the surrounding structures, uniting the entirety of the scheme.

It's a wonderful trend. When the first green roofs appeared, they were almost afterthoughts; this one on Toronto's Mountain Equipment Coop in Toronto is recognized as one of the early entries. It's not even accessible; you have to climb a ladder. It certainly isn't visible from anywhere in the building.

Fifteen years later, the green roof IS the building, defining its whole look and feel. It's a whole new architectural language. And this building speaks volumes. Lots more images at Designboom.

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