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Posts Tagged ‘green roofs’

I like to post photos of warmer seasons while we’re in the depths of winter, to remind us that spring is not very far ahead. Here are a few scenes from a lovely botanical garden on the edge of Salt Lake City, Utah, which I visited last June.

 

Red Butte Garden 1
Allium and falling water

 

Red Butte Garden 2
Four Seasons garden

 

Red Butte Garden 3
Herb garden

 

Red Butte Garden 4
Fragrance garden

 

Red Butte Garden 5
A roof garden with a view
 
Photos by Alice Webb

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LDS center 1

While in search of interesting examples of landscape architecture in Salt Lake City last spring, I came across a building and site with an unusual juxtaposition of formal and naturalistic design. The LDS Conference Center includes two sides that were designed to represent a mountainside, dominated by a series of terraces with coniferous trees. The other two sides of this massive edifice, however, are quite formal in design, with a prominent tower from which a water cascade falls to the street level below. The roof landscape also features this peculiar blending of nature and structure. It’s almost as if vegetation were taking over the building from the east and north sides. Many parts of this design are quite attractive, but I’m not so sure that the scheme works as a whole.

 

LDS center 2
LDS Conference Center (view from south) – The vast and stark hardscapes of the roof and entry plaza contrast with the naturalistic planting design of the roof’s large meadow and trees.

 

LDS center 3
LDS Conference Center (view from northeast), showing the planted terraces

 

LDS center 4   LDS center 5
Formally-designed elements of the building and landscape include a tower with a water cascade that falls down to the street level, and reflecting pools on the roof.

 

LDS center 6
Up on the roof: One in a series of formal water features with a naturalistic landscape beyond

 

LDS center 7
Tower view on the roof

 

LDS center 8
The roof includes an expansive meadow with a view of the distant mountains

 

LDS center 9
Northeast corner of the building with trees on terraces, suggesting a mountainside
 
Aerial images obtained from Google Earth; all other photos by Alice Webb

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Green roofs have important environmental and economic benefits, which include reducing stormwater runoff, cooling urban air temperatures, improving air quality, and reducing energy usage in buildings. Another positive outcome that I hadn’t given much thought to, until this week, is the wildlife habitat that green roofs create. This roof (below) in Boston supports a nesting gull, standing over its brood of chicks. Who could ask for a better home, with such great views of the city and harbor?

 

Green Roof in Boston

 

Photo by Alice Webb

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New York’s Hudson River Park has been built in phases, extending for several miles along the west edge of Manhattan. In mid-March I visited the Chelsea section, from Pier 62 to 29th Street.

 


Entrance area of the Chelsea Cove section of the park – this section includes extensive lawn areas, a concrete skate park, carousel, and walkways.

 


Picnic area near the entrance to Chelsea Cove

 


View of Pier 62, including a carousel with a green roof

 


Seating area on Pier 62 with “floating” lights

 


A walkway near the skate park (fenced area to the right)

 


The 11-mile long Hudson River Greenway runs adjacent to the park

 


Pier 64 features lawns, walkways, and seating

 


Linear section of the park north of Pier 64

 


Sculpture at 29th Street

 

Photos by Alice Webb

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