30 green rooms in the heart of Heerlen.
The reinterpretation of an infrastructural necessity into a public amenity reveals the hidden potential of the urban ecosystem.
This temporary intervention transforms the rooftop of a carpark into a green recreational area that welcomes and encourages the re-appropriation of the space by local citizens.
The design aims to be an example, a pilot project to create new spaces of connection and regeneration in our cities. The effects that climate change has in our urban environment is showing us the need to redefine our relationship with nature and to transform the built environment into a responsive ecosystem. We need to create dynamic and resilient landscapes that integrate organised planting patterns with ample space for human and non-human interactions. This transformation will allow us to strengthen and safeguard biodiversity and even more to restore natural habitats. Thus, our own roofs offer a great opportunity to take action and start the process of regeneration.
The design draws inspiration from the crop patterns that characterise the Dutch countryside. 1200 m2 of concrete roof is divided into crops. Each crop hosts a different type of vegetation, together forming one colourful whole and an array of patterns. 57 different plant species are grown in movable planters made of wooden crates, therein defining a system of spaces for spontaneous meetings and interactions.
Five different types of rooms can be found here: the Wilderness, Tea, Chromatic, Edible and Aphrodisiac rooms. Each of them is defined by the different characteristics of the plants that belong to each room. Therefore, plants’ density, smell, height, colour, texture and use play an important role in the composition of these rooms. Within the process, local plants and herbs were selected in order to enhance, attract and strengthen local biodiversity.
This rooftop garden is part of the Heerlen Rooftop Project. Initiated by SCHUNCK in 2018, the Heerlen Rooftop Project explores both the challenges and great potential that our cities’ many grey roofs offer. Even though this roof garden is temporary, it is the first step in sparking a wider discussion about the necessary climate adaptation of our cities. It offers a new perspective, providing ideas on how everyone can contribute to a climate-proof living and working environment.
Heerlen Rooftop Project by SELVATICO COLLECTIVE
Date of completion: 2022
Team: SELVATICO COLLECTIVE / Giulia Azaria, Iñigo Ruiz, Linda Tonin