Rooftop gardens have become a quite popular place for recreation, sports, social gatherings and urban agriculture. They also have aesthetic value and are extremely important in terms of their environmental impact. The green roofs, as they are often called, reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the building, which results in lower energy consumption. They can also reduce and delay run off by collecting the storm water, which can afterwards be used by the plants. Roof gardens are becoming the green oasis in the bigger highly urbanized cities around the world.
The idea of these facilities is far from new, however. There were records of such high gardens that date back to ancient times and examples can be found in Rome, Egypt and even in ancient Mesopotamia. One of the Seven wonders of the ancient world are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which are believed to have supported not only smaller plants but even trees.
So, the contemporary architects just borrowed this wonderful idea and turned the roof into a wonderful place to rest, chat with friends, grow vegetables. There are many wonderful designs that feature immaculate floors of natural stone tiles or recycled wood, comfortable garden furniture, covered recreational areas, cafes, pools, gardens that produce fresh fruits and vegetables and even vineyards. But a group of architects working at Studio Gang Architects turned their Chicago office rooftop into a small wheat “farm”, which was harvested in August 2016 to be milled and produce 27 kg of completely edible flour.
It was probably the first time when a rooftop garden was successfully planted with wheat that gave yield. The studio was very proud with its rooftop garden and decide to develop it further and turn it into a “special space where the Studio meets the city”, as they have put it on the special page they made for the Treehouse (the name they gave to the rooftop garden). It is now used to hold parties and gatherings not only of the architect’s studio but can also be hired for external occasions. The wheat farm is complimented by a prairie garden and a transparent pavilion and makes it an ideal place for rest and entertainment.
Enjoy its simple beauty and dive into the serene atmosphere of this unusual rooftop garden that is a real retreat from the busy and hectic city life.