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

“Hobbiton,” the home of the virtuous Hobbits. Image ©

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.

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

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 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

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

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part IX

© Byun, Jong Suk

For today’s AD Round Up we’ve compiled previously featured projects. You must see, Villa Topoject by korean practice, . Don’t miss, Ciel Rouge’s Villa Ronde or Seongbuk Gate Hills located in Seoul by Joel Sanders and Haeahn Architecture. Take a closer look to Marcel Sembat High School designed by archi5 and Borja Huidobro. Last but not least in today’s AD Round Up, you can visit House at León by ALARCÓN + ASOCIADOS.

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part VIII

© Patrick Bingham Hall


Five amazing green roof projects from earlier this year. Check them all after the break.

Sky Garden House /
This house is located on a new housing estate on the island of Sentosa adjacent to Singapore. The plots are not large 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 stair well which would funnel the sea breeze through the centre of the building (read more…)


© Pablo Cruz

Architects: / Alberto Alarcón
Location: , Spain
Collaborators: Sara Rojo, Carlos Tomás, Clara García, Heloise
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 310 sqm
Photographs: Pablo Cruz, Alberto Alarcón

Villa Topoject / AND

© Byun, Jong Suk

Architects: Architecture of Novel Differentiation (AND)
Location: , Korea
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 199 sqm
Photographs: Byun, Jong Suk

Marcel Sembat High School / archi5 with B. Huidobro

© Thomas Jorion

Architects: archi5 with
Location: Sotteville lès Rouen, France
Project Year: 2011
Acoustic Engineer: ABC Décibel Steel
Steel Structure Contractor: Constructions métalliques Charondière
Main Contractor: Millery Colas
Project Area: 12,764 sqm
Photographs: Thomas Jorion

Villa Ronde / Ciel Rouge

© Iishii Toshihisa

Architects: Ciel Rouge
Project area: 1800 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Iishii Toshihisa

VIAS Space / estudioSIC


Architects: estudioSIC – Esaú Acosta, Mauro Gil-Fournier, Miguel jaenicke, estudiosic
Location: Leon,
Collaborators: Alfredo Borgui, Nieves Valle, Albert Pérez
Co-authors: Pedro Colón, Raquel Buj
Project Team: Take Away Media, Jorge Pellitero
Project area: 1,450 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: estudioSIC, Esaú Acosta

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

© Louis Porter

St. Patrick’s today, 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…)

Cluny House / Guz Architects

© Patrick Bingham Hall

Architects: Guz Architects
Location: ,
Project area: 1,505 sqm
Project year: 2006-2009
Photographs: Patrick Bingham Hall

Sky Garden House / Guz Architects

© Patrick Bingham Hall

Architects: Guz Architects – Guz Wilkinson
Project architects: Caroline Witzke, Szymon Goździkowski
Location: Sentosa Island,
Project area: 852 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Patrick Bingham Hall

Costa Brava Gran Casino / b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos

© Adrià Goula

Architects: b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos
Location: Lloret de Mar,
Competition Team: Fermín Vázquez, Sebastián Khourian, Juan Pablo Porta, Markus Jacoby, Paulo Moreira
Project Team: Fermín Vázquez, Peco Mulet, Sebastián Khourian, Juan Pablo Porta, Andrés Gorini, Nicolás Perfumo, Leonardo Novelo, Giusy Ottonelly, Valeria Merola, Ana Vicente-Arche, Paulo Moreira, Zelia Alvés, Carles Martínez-Almoyna, Laura Marticorena
Interiors: David Pablo, Zelia Alvés, Gaëlle Lauxerrois, Anaïs Blanc, Sandra Palou, Diana Singla
Digital Model: Oriol Roig, Magdalena Ostornol, Iván Arellano
Model: Miquel Lluch, Omar Vejar Ángel Gaspar
Client: Gran Casino Costa Brava, S.L.
Contractor: Proinosa
Structure: BOMA
Services: JG Asociados
Rigger: Técnics G3
Lighting Consultor: Artec3
Landscape: Arquitectura Agronomía
Project Area: 31,123.38 sqm
Project Year: 2007–2010
Photographs: Adriá Goula

AD Round Up: Green Roof Part VI

© Courtesy of McGlashan Architecture

Two houses, two schools 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 . 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…)

Hsiangshan Visitor Center / Norihiko Dan

© Enta Yang

Enta Yang shared with us the photographs he took of the Hsiangshan Visitor Center by Japan architect Norihiko Dan in Taiwan, winner project from the Sun Moon Lake Tourist Route International competition, featuring a really nice concrete work a cover to keep under control internal temperatures.

Take a look at the complete photoset after the break.

Houses In Rybnik / Jojko+Nawrocki Architekci

© Juliusz Sokolowski

Architects: Jojko+Nawrocki Architekci
Location: Rybnik, Poland
Project year: 2007 – 2010
Photographs: Juliusz Sokolowski

Bovernier Primary School Extension / Bonnard Woeffray Architectes

© Hannes Henz

Architects: Bonnard Woeffray Architectes
Location: Bovernier, Switzerland
Collaborator: Nuno Ferreira
Client: Commune de Bovernier
Project Area: 1,630 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2010
Photographs: Hannes Henz