AD Interviews: Alexis Rocha, I/O Platform

At the beginning of the summer we visited SYNTHe, a urban rooftop garden designed and built by professor Alexis Rocha (I/O Platform founder) with SCI-Arc students.

The SYNTHe project is a 3,000sqf structure located on the top of The Flat, a mid rise residential building in downtown Los Angeles, and its the first green garden approved by city official. The idea of this “green blanket” over at the top of the building is to reduce the building heat gain, reduce storm water waste (80% is captured and used for irrigation) and to establish a sustainable plant ecosystem that collaborated with air pollutants filtering. It also reclaims the rooftop area from HVAC, ventilation and fire control systems, giving a new terrace for the users of the building.

Inside this blanket, 1,500sqf are dedicated to the production of edible plant species, and we had the chance to taste them at the restaurant during lunch, very good. The species planted include:

30% Herbs English, Lemon and Summer Thyme; Variegated Oregano; Purple, Spotted and Silver Sage; Thai, Japanese and Purple Basil, Rue, Italian Parsley, Bay Leaves; Peppermint, Spearmint, Candy, Gray and Corsican Mint. 50%Leaves Dandelion; Hawaian Onions; Collard Greens; Swiss Chard; Red, Orange, Green Chard; Butterhead, Boston, Bibb, Buttercrunch Lettuces; Wheat Grass; Kale; Squash blossoms; Broccoli. 20% Fruits White Peppers, Poblano Peppers, Jalapennos; Carrots; Tomatoes

A video of the SYNTHe green roof and more photos after the break.

Project Credits: I/O Alexis Rochas, Principal.

SCI_Arc Design-Build Research Laboratory Alexis Rochas, Instructor Project Team: Jeremy Backlar, Leigh Bell, Reymundo Castillo, Deborah Fuentes, John Klein, John Ford, Santino Medina, Leandro Rolon, Wataru Sakaki, Patrick Shields.

Engineering Bruce Danziger. Arup, Los Angeles

Landscaping Los Angeles Community Garden Council Al Renner Denise Bratton Terence Toy, Garden Curator

Client Bret Mosher, MKT The Flat Blue Velvet Restaurant

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Cite: David Basulto. "AD Interviews: Alexis Rocha, I/O Platform" 24 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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