How Roof Terraces help enable Biophilic Landscapes
Roof terrace landscaping plays a vital role by enabling biophilic space in modern urban environments.
In our increasingly urban surroundings, fewer and fewer people have a regular connection with the green, natural world. With this in mind, rooftop terraces are such a vital and popular aspect of modern inner-city living, and have such an important environmental role to play.
Roof terrace landscaping on the increase
Given the technology and systems available, what can be achieved on a roof terrace has evolved hugely in recent years. Up high above our streets, roof terrace landscaping offers so much opportunity to combine features of light, air, water and plant life. Sophisticated systems for decking, planters and edging can combine to produce spectacular and environmentally beneficial results.
Roof terraces and podium decks have quickly grown to become the statement aspects of new developments. In fact, they’re often the crown jewel of proposals. They’re also a vital role from meeting initial planning requirements to attracting prospective buyers.
The image below is courtesy of HayesDavidson It shows Google’s new HQ currently under development in Kings Cross. The roof garden will be around 300m long and has been created by landscape architects Gillespies.
The rise of biophilic landscaping
To take these connections to the natural world further, landscape architects are exploring the principles of biophilic design. This is a developing school of thought which stresses people’s innate, deep-seated need to incorporate nature into living and working environments. There are many benefits a connection with nature brings to our lives, as explored in our Creating Healthy Outdoor Spaces insight.
The biophilic movement originated in the US a few years ago, driven by the Living Building Challenge, a green building design and certification programme. Although initially focusing on greener interiors, it quickly embraced landscape design too.
Biophilic landscaping has many aspects but in summary the architect is encourages to ‘mimic’ nature in their proposals. This means making use of light, air, water, plants and providing natural landscapes and ecosystems that encourage wildlife habitats. As a result, roof terrace landscaping often features large in a biophilic scheme.