Welcome to our gallery featuring a spectacular array of green roofs, one of the most innovative yet natural roofing solutions ever.
We wanted to bring you a collection of roofs that covered the wildly varied and intriguing constructs also known as living roofs.
A living roof is a roof of a building that is at least partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofed membrane.
More complex in creation than a standard roof, the living roof may include further layers, such as a root barrier, and often incorporates drainage and irrigation systems.
This type of roof can serve multiple purposes for a building, including rainwater absorption, insulation, and habitat creation for wildlife.
The roofs are known to decrease stress of those living nearby by providing a more aesthetically pleasing natural landscape and lowering air temperatures and mitigating the heat island effect in urban areas.
It’s basically the ultimate way to turn a highly structured human-built space into something more harmonious with nature itself. While the results look as natural as a forest, there’s a lot of technology that goes into sustaining these unique roofs.
As you navigate our selection below, be sure to note the wildly different contexts and design choices informing each living roof. From Middle Earth-inspired cottages to ultramodern office buildings, living roofs have a more than surprisingly diverse set of applications.
This is the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center building in Eagan, Minnesota, with rooftop vegetation mirroring its natural counterpart found throughout the surrounding landscape.
In the center of Tokyo’s bustling metropolis, this sprawling rooftop park makes a case for the necessity of green rooftops in an urban environment. Standing apart from the concrete jungle, this living roof provides a sense of relief and escape into nature.
Atop a modern construction home in bright yellow, the gently curved roof features alternating rows of thick green lawn and fascinating blue flowers, doubling as living roof and garden.
Soaring across the ocean to the island nation of Iceland, we see this turf-encased home with a lawn that runs right up the side of the structure and onto the pair of A-frame roofs, creating a holistic approach to rural living.
Much like our header image for this post, the series of cottages here are linked by their matching color schemes and equally appointed living roofs. The lush rooftop greenery connects the cottages to the landscape and provides insulation.
Here’s another rural cottage, with an exposed beam construction and rustic wood textures throughout. The living roof is jam-packed with thick greenery, nearly obscuring the chimney at center.
With this lush red barn style home, we return to living roofs. This one takes a layered approach, with a soil bed supporting not only grass, but ferns and other forest plant life.
This understated and rustic structure features a living grass roof framed in rich natural wood, over an exposed beam structure with red wood supports. The roof here was designed to match the surrounding lawn, for an integrated look.
This small home features rustic textures over a modern look, with expansive glass panels and light natural wood exterior beneath a verdant living roof. The vine growth on the roof spills over the edges, helping to fully submerge the structure in nature.
Here’s a living roof of an entirely different stripe. The rustic dark wood cabin features a wood plank roof which has been covered in thick natural moss growth. This style is nearly effortless in comparison to the complex setup of standard living roofs, and makes for a truly prosaic appearance.
Upon this rich, rustic home we see a living roof absolutely overflowing with growth, from grass to ferns and beyond. The light, natural hued wood structure meshes perfectly with its surroundings, nearly camouflaged by its roof.
Here’s another complex living roof on an office building, amplifying the energy conservation and sunlight absorption properties with a large set of skylights. A walking path turns this green space into a de facto nature park.
The roof of this house is a lavish paradise of greenery, with a small triangular dormer window and trio of stacks poking through a lush lawn. The growth camouflages the house against the landscape.
Inspired by Buckminster Fuller, this geodesic dome roof appears like a rolling green hill, dotted with circular skylights throughout. The combination of modern construction and natural grass makes for a strangely unique appeal.
Here’s another novel twist on our titular concept. Instead of the roof itself, we see the living roof practice applied to the vertical panels wrapping a modern office building. The thick greenery spills downward, bracketing the spaces between layers of full-height glazing, making for an interesting contrast with the ultra-modern design.
Upon this stately red brick utility structure, we see a living roof in full bloom, with leafy branches reaching outward from the roof and spilling down over the edges. This is a unique way to spice up an older building and add energy efficiency and visual appeal.
While this project is clearly more of a rooftop garden than a living roof, the effect is similar. Using a series of lattice fences to support the greenery, this rooftop garden spills out from containers and onto the structure itself.
Here’s another fresh take on the living roof concept, with vertical strips running between balconies, fully adorned with rich green growth. The “living facade” feature adds a warm glow to the modern structure, supplementing the living roof itself above.
This modern apartment complex features an intricate, interconnected array of green roofs, with lawns and full trees sprouting from the top of the buildings. This creates a rooftop yard scenario, adding a breath of fresh rural air to the neighborhood.
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