Over the past decades we’ve gradually lost the strong connection we once shared with nature. As the cities have developed, houses were replaced by tall buildings and apartment blocks and the greenery lost ground. However, that doesn’t mean we’ve severed the connection entirely. In fact, we’re constantly making efforts to bring nature into our homes. There’s an entire urban jungle out there and these projects can prove it.
A living roof deck by J.Roc Design
This is the rooftop of one of the buildings in Boston. When most structures have barren rooftops, this one is a real urban oasis. This amazing transformation was a project by J.Roc Design. Completed in 2016, the project brings nature into the city in a very inspiring way. The rooftop is covered in wood, featuring benches and various sculptural platforms that mimic the shape of the land.
The entire installation was created without using any screws or fasteners. It can be disassembled into 3-ft long sections so the client who requested it in the first place can take it with him when moving into a future home. The project is also very inspiring because it’s an addition to a historic building.
A family home with a fully-landscaped backyard
For this family home remodel in San Francisco, Yamamar Design Architects worked in close collaboration with Terremoto, the landscape design studio that transformed the backyard into a wonderful oasis divided into various sections including an outdoor dining area and a lounge space with a fire pit. A long wooden bench run along almost the entire length of the backyard. A wooden pathway runs diagonally across the yard, ensuring an intimate ambiance and a modern appearance.
A terraced backyard with views from the top
Having a house on a steep, sloping site has its disadvantages but a lot of times it’s all worth it because of the views. In the case of this townhouse in San Francisco, there’s one more reason to love living here: the amazing backyard. The house was originally built in 1964 but its backyard was only recently redesigned. The remodel was done by Mary Barensfeld Architecture.
The backyard is terraced, featuring these beautiful angular planters that were chosen as a much fresher and more appropriate alternative to a conventional staircase. They lead to an upper patio which offers views of San Francisco. Each level is a planter that holds local greenery, some of which trails over and towards the lower sections.
The lowest planters expand into wooden benches that wrap around a central dining area framed on one side by a small reflecting pool. The yard is enveloped by patterned screens made of weathered steel. These serve both as bamboo planters and as fences/ dividers, ensuring privacy from the neighboring yards.
An award-winning meditation garden design
In 2015 the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show revealed a lot of beautiful entries. The winner was this amazing mediation garden design called Pipe Dream. It was created by Alison Douglas who used a series of concrete pipes of different dimensions to make three amazing features.
One of the features is a daybed with built-in accent lighting. It was designed as a place for meditation and relaxation. Another concrete pipe was used to make a water feature and a third one became a fire pit. Together they complement an all-season garden that stays beautiful all year round.
A house with a large terraced garden on the roof
Finding a site large enough to accommodate a family house and a spacious backyard can be quite a challenge in some areas but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t find a workaround. By that we mean that when there’s not enough space for a house and a garden, you can turn the roof into an yard. It’s what Vo Trong Nghia Architects and ICADA did when they had to design this house in Vietnam.
The client wanted a house with a large garden and that’s exactly what they got, although not in the traditional sense. The garden sits on a terraced roof, with a void at the center that goes down into the house, creating a sort of central courtyard that lets light in and infuses the living spaces with greenery and freshness.
New York rooftop garden with skyline views
One of the apartment buildings in New York has a secret urban oasis on its roof. The rooftop garden is quite big, measuring over 500 square meters across. It’s divided into several sections, each with its comfortable benches and seating areas. At the center there’s a dining area and the stairwell access point is concealed inside a mirrored box that reflects the views and the garden itself. From up here one can enjoy views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. The design was done by James Corner Field Operations.