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Through the Lens: The Social Implications of Green Roofs in Film

Film often makes a mockery of architectural features. Glass facades are obliterated by gunfire, grisly murders are set against a white modernist palette, deconstructed stairs are the cause of nasty accidents or ludicrous slapstick, and you just know a tensile fabric roof will be shredded by the time 007 is finished with it.

There is one architectural feature however that has benefited from very complimentary treatment by the film industry, and surprisingly it is a sustainable one. Green roofs and other “architectural” green spaces have been popping up regularly in mainstream movies over the past decade: blockbusters including The Vow (2012) and Source Code (2011) utilized the greenscape outside Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park; last year the Vancouver Convention Centre was featured in both Godzilla and Robocop; and Kaspar Schroder’s 2009 uber cool documentary My Playground, about the sport of parkour (the art of bouncing off buildings made famous by the opening scenes of Casino Royale), features BIG’s Mountain Dwellings in Copenhagen. And we cannot forget two of the biggest film franchises in history: both of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises feature green roofs in their portrayal of Hobbiton – home of the virtuous and incorruptible Hobbits.

stadiumconcept and IAA architecten Create Stadium with Tractor Valve Columns

Exterior View. Image © stadiumconcept with IAA architecten
Exterior View. Image © stadiumconcept with IAA architecten

Designed to seat 33,000 people, stadiumconcept and IAA architecten’s proposal for Minsk’s newest football stadium has a unique and allusive form. The column-like supports of the stadium roof resemble tractor valves, a reference to Minsk’s booming tractor fabrication industry. These tapering columns provide a signature identity for a building that, in addition to being a stadium, will serve the city as a shopping and business center.

Exterior View. Image © stadiumconcept with IAA architecten Night View. Image © stadiumconcept with IAA architecten Interior View. Image © stadiumconcept with IAA architecten Roof Plan. Image © stadiumconcept with IAA architecten

For Flood Prevention, We Need to Raise Our Game (And Flatten Our Roofs)

Courtesy of Arup
Courtesy of Arup

This article by Jonathan Ward, originally published on Arup Thoughts as "A Top-Down Approach to Flood Prevention" discusses a cheap, simple, but effective method of easing the load on drainage after a storm: temporary storage of water on flat roofs, which can not only help to prevent floods, but also provide unexpected benefits as well.

Gravity offers a simple and cheap way to attenuate stormwater flows – by storing water temporarily on a flat roof. All sorts of causes are being blamed for the current flooding in the UK; lack of dredging, poor management of catchment areas, construction on flood plains and paving over front gardens are all being mentioned in the press.

One thing is for sure – we will be paying a lot more attention to the topic given the current experience, and the fact that wetter winters are predicted in our changing climate, with a certainty of more extreme events.

Read on for an explanation of why this counter-intuitive measure actually makes perfect sense

Kita Göttingen / Despang Architekten

© Jochen Stüber
© Jochen Stüber

Architects: Despang Architekten Location: Göttingen, Germany Architects In Charge: Günther Despang/Martin Despang Project Architects: Philip Hogrebe/Jörg Steveker Area: 512 sqm Year: 2010 Photographs: Jochen Stüber, Olaf Baumann

© Jochen Stüber © Olaf Baumann © Jochen Stüber © Olaf Baumann

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part IX

© Byun, Jong Suk
© Byun, Jong Suk

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part VIII

  Five amazing green roof projects from earlier this year. Check them all after the break. Sky Garden House / Guz Architects This house is located on a new housing estate on the island of Sentosa adjacent to Singapore. The plots are not large and neighbouring buildings are built close to the sides of each house. Thus our strategy was to build a solid wall to each side neighbor to provide privacy where possible, while creating a central light and stair well which would funnel the sea breeze through the centre of the building (read more…)

AD Round Up: St. Patrick's Special Part II

St. Patrick’s today, and it’s all about green! So for today’s Round Up, we have our sixth selection of previously featured green roofs! Check them all after the break. Welham Studios / Mark Merer Welham Studios started with the study of placement, watching objects in clay and sand creating shapes through the interaction of the wind and rain. The work is looking for a union of object and environment (read more…)

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part VI

Two houses, two schools and one tennis club. All of the with amazing eco-friendly green roofs. Check them all after the break. Mill Valley Hillside / McGlashan Architecture The Mill Valley Hillside project is a residence for three generations, in two separate dwellings, under one green roof. It brings the grandparents closer to their children and grandchildren, yet carves out spaces tailored to each generation. Upstairs is formal, quiet and dramatic (read more…)

First Principle: Earth as Material / Freeform + Deform

Courtesy of Freeform + Deform
Courtesy of Freeform + Deform

Freeform + Deform, a creative collective from New York, shared with us their project ‘First Principle: Earth as Material”, presented at the Input_Output: Adaptive Materials and Mediated Environments symposium hosted by Temple University. More images and architect’s description after the break.

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part V

A lot of amazing projects are designed now with green roofs. And for our 5th selection, we even have a Building of the Year 2009 by ACXT. Check them all after the break. BTEK – Technology Interpretation Center / ACXT BTEK is an interpretation centre for new technologies, aimed at student visitors. The site’s location, on one of the highest points of the Vizcaya Technology Park and close to the Bilbao airport’s flight path for takeoffs and landings, helps with the aim of making the building a landmark in its landscape (read more…)

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Boundary Crossing Facilities proposal / Adrian Lo

© Adrian Lo
© Adrian Lo

Architect Adrian Lo shared with us his proposal for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Boundary Crossing Facilities Competition. See more images and architect’s description after the break.

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part IV

Doesn’t matter if it’s a medical technology campus, a residence, a housing project, or a public facility. The green roof looks amazing in this projects from all over the world. Check them all after the break.

Becton Dickinson Campus Center / RMJM The Campus Center at BD (Becton Dickinson and Company), a medical technology company that serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, industry and the general public, is a 38,500-square-foot facility that bridges and blurs the boundaries between building/landscape, indoor/outdoor, roof/earth, figure/ground, and the two local business cultures of management/production (read more…)

In Progress: Green Roof Residence / LIJO RENY architects

© LIJO RENY architects
© LIJO RENY architects

Architects: LIJO RENY architects / Ar. Reny Lijo and Ar. Lijo Jos Location: West Kadungallur, Aluva, Kerala, India Cleint: Dr. Ismail and Family Buit up Area: 4,500 Sqft Status: Nearing Completion Photographs: Courtesy of Lijo Reny architects

views 01
views 01

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part III

From Poland, Spain, China, Austria and France. Here’s our third selection of previously featured green roof projects. Check them all after the break.

OUTrial House / KWK PROMES A green clearing surrounded by forest was the only context for the proposed small house. Hence the idea to “carve out” a piece of the grass-covered site, move it up and treat it as the roofing to arrange all the required functions underneath. When the whole was ready, the client came up with another request, to create some space for a small recording studio and a conservatory (read more…)

Inventare la Natura Urbana Competition

The competition is dedicated to the innovation of green in urban areas. Participants can be creative professionals (landscape architects, designers, architects, planners, artists, and associations) as well as students (schools of horticulture, landscape design, architecture, etc.).

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part II

Sustainability Round Up to end the week. Some really interesting projects may be done using green roof. Here we show you our second part (see the first one here), of previously featured projects with green roof.

Green Roofs for Melbourne / 1:1 architects

1:1 Architects shared their design idea for retro fitting high-rise buildings in Melbourne with a modular system of independent green roof structures. The new roof is designed to be installed, modified or even dismantled quite easily.  “Our green roof concept is a flexible modular system, designed to adapt to varying scale rooftops and respond to differing site conditions and functional requirements,” explained the architects.  The roof provides a new atmosphere for the existing buildings where a variety of activities, such as an informal meeting or a simple lunch break, can be held.

More about the roof after the break.