a garden in the sky


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Virginia Tech


We live in an increasingly urbanized world as people migrate to cities for employment and cultural benefits. Growing and dense urban populations contribute heavily to water pollution and energy waste contributing to global biodiversity extinction. At the same time, contemporary urban areas deliver diminishing returns to residents as cities become cramped, unhealthy, and unattractive. The rooftops of urban buildings offer exciting opportunities for remedying these trends. New rooftop designs highlight the need for more plant life and green space in urban areas, improve energy efficiency, and offer urban residents gardens to enjoy and relax in.

Rooftops can enhance buildings in urban areas through landscape design, transforming neglected space into valuable real estate that provides ecological and economic services. Well designed rooftops can enhance property values, assist with primary on-site storm water management, help build energy efficiency, mitigate the urban hear island effect, and filter air and water. A good green roof exists in symbiosis with its neighbors and the city at large. Contemporary rooftop design strives for an ethical stewardship of the earth. I have chosen to design a green roof around the aesthetics and traditions of Japanese horticulture. Japanese landscape design evolved to maximize space and create intricate gardens in small areas and is deep in symbolism and ritual upkeep.



zen, japan, heat island, rooftop garden