We've become accustomed to seeing our cities from above. Thanks, Google. But just imagine, instead of roofs of tile and tin, we see a patchwork of green as we peer down on our cities; roofs covered with plants and vegetables. What a difference it could make, even if only 10% of roofs were green. It would improve our air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, minimise the urban heat island effect and perhaps even save a bee or two. But that's really just the start of it. The mechanics and possibilities of green roofs warrant a whole article in itself but in the meantime, enjoy some eye-greenery courtesy of some of Australia's best architects...
This green-roofed beach house fell off the back of a truck! Okay, more accurately it was carefully delivered off the back of a truck. Designed by Archiblox, this prefabricated home is covered with lush greenery which cascades over the edges and helps the soften the home, allowing it blend into its beachside site in Syndey's Avalon.
A world away from Sydney's northern beaches, this home is tucked away in a small backyard in Melbourne's gritty inner-north. Architect Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects designed a compact two-bedroom home on the site, but the backyard hasn't been lost, it's just gone up a level!
With a compact block, the idea of extending sent these owners into a panic - where would they put the veggie garden? Luckily Damian Rogers Architecture devised a plan for a bold new living, dining and kitchen space which manages to fit the veggie garden in the most surprising place - on the roof! The addition is the envy of the neighbours, but mostly because the productive green roof bears the most delicious veggies!
After devastating bushfires tore through the beachside hamlet of Wye River, we've seen a number of innovative new homes pop up in the area. Perhaps none as surprising as this home constructed out of shipping containers. While you can't tell yet, the roof of House 28 is covered with the creeping Australian native, Dichondra. Eventually, it will cover the roof with green and drip delicately over the edges, helping to insulate the home and creating a low-maintenance, fire-tolerant roof.
In the middle of Melbourne's CBD, with breathtaking views, Pheonix Rooftop is an incredible green roof designed by Bent Architecture. Filled with fragrant and flowering plants and crowned with an arbour that will eventually be covered with creepers, the rooftop garden has everything you'd expect in a suburban garden, but in a uniquely urban location.