Sliver of a Green Roof at the ROM by Plant Architects

rom green roof from cafe photo

At the top of the "crystal" at Daniel Libeskind's Royal Ontario Museum is a the fancy C5 restaurant; it didn't have a very fancy view over the roof of the older wing. So why not toss on a green roof? Because they are heavy, often 15 pounds per square foot, and the old roof couldn't take it.

Lisa Rapoport of Plant Architect came up with a clever solution: she installed a sliver of a green roof, only three pounds per square foot. It is a three inch slice of eye candy.

rom roof looking toward cafe photo

Since it can only be seen from one point, those windows in the restaurant, Lisa could create a sort of one-point perspective, tilted triangles of landscape alternating with broken glass, which is light enough to keep the weight down. Using tricks of forced perspective, Lisa makes it look far wider than it really is. "We wanted to counteract the bowling-alley effect with a counter topography, a form that would lead your eye down a much longer journey through this perspective."

rom roof closeup photo

When it grows in, a pattern of high horsetails transition to sedums, then to semper varium, will be repeated in all of the triangles. At night, LED strips will delineate the blue glass areas.

lisa samuels garden image

Tough job; not much to work with. But it will do some of the work that green roofs do, including cooling the building below and attracting birds. And, those diners in the restaurant have something nice to look at.

More Green Roofs in TreeHugger:
Green Science Museum Opens in San Francisco: Living, Blooming Design Has the City in Awe
Green Roofs : A primer : TreeHuggerGreen Roofs : A primer
Green Roofs : A primer

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