Roofy Garden

By Zelie Vandermeiren

One of the seventh wonders of the world is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Long gone, things that remain of them are descriptions and excavations. With it, they acknowledge that since the beginning of humankind, the adoration of gardens and nature in architecture was ever-present. And to this day, buildings with an abundance of greenery are made, architecture has its own code and some rules need to be respected. But it doesn’t mean creativity and originality can’t come and disrupt the usual. Like for example where the garden belongs. Here discover a few of those original building and their unusual garden with  Roofy Garden

Audemars Piguet Museum, Switzerland

Audemars Piguet is a watchmaker of excellence, in Switzerland. Indeed, when they decided to have a museum dedicated to the brand and its handcraft, the building needed to be breathtaking. Reminiscent of a clock face, the building architecture is a real gem. Embedded in the earth, the roof is covered with greenery and turned into a garden. Just as beautiful in summer as in winter, when the Swiss climate covers it with a white layer of snow.

The Shiroiya Hotel, Japan

The Shiroiya Hotel is located in Maebashi, Japan, and sits on the site of a former inn that hosted guests for over 300 years. But the restoration might have never seen the day, as the building was supposed to be destroyed. The architect Sou Fujimoto, known for his primitive style, has two types of buildings of predilection: the nest and the cave. Herewith the Shiroiya Hotel, we can see the similarities with the cave. Surrounded by greenery, it looks like a hill, which is a very sophisticated hotel.

The hotel before the renovations and work of Sou Fujimoto.

Seeing what the building looked like before the renovations, incredible work and imagination were challenged. Inaugurated in December 2020, it is now possible to stay at the Shiroiya Hotel.

Espace Bienvenüe, France

A green wave between buildings; it’s how the Espace Bienvenüe could be described. Designed by Jean-Philippe Pargade, located near the French capital, was inaugurated in 2014. It’s a campus for the Pôle Scientifique et Technique Paris-Est (PST). Named “Espace Bienvenüe” it’s a homage to Fulgance Bienvenüe, who created the Parisian metro system.

California Academy of Sciences, United States

Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Academy of Science of California is an incredible museum. From the outside, you might think that the building is a greenhouse under three hills. But in reality, it is a natural science museum full of knowledge. Renzo Piano, the architect behind it, wanted to “lift up a piece of the park and put a building underneath.” And the greenhouse effect is not so much an effect as it is a light bubble for the plants inside.

Earth Shelter, Movement

Museums, hotels and campus are not the only ones that can have hanging gardens. Indeed an architectural movement is dedicated to them. Called the Earth Shelter, it exists in the 4 corners of the world. These types of houses might remind you the one of the Middle-earth, from the Lord of Rings. They are not prototypes for the saga, but actual real houses. The Swiss architect Peter Vetsch is recognized to be the father of and popularized them.

Earth House built by Peter Vetsch

The 50/50 house, Netherlands

Special mention to the house 50/50. Designed by the Studioninedots, the idea being this house is half inside half outside. In it, you are neither outside nor inside, because they only make one.

If you enjoyed reading Roofy Garden, you might also enjoy reading other articles about architecture like Build with Colour or Slightly Built.