Green Roof Field Trip

I took my class on a field trip to see some installed green roofs and living walls today. We went to The NYC Parks & Recreation 5 Boro Administration Building’s green roof demonstration garden on Randall’s Island, the stopped by the Lincoln Center to check out the Illuminated Lawn and living walls in the Atrium. We skipped The High Line due to time constraintes (maybe next time) and went to 360 Smith St. in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn to check out a recently completed green roof as well as Future Green Studio‘s nursery space around the corner on 3rd St.


The 5 Boro Building was a special treat and our tour guide Artie Rollins was wonderful. He is more than happy to show anyone with a group around the 18 different greenroof systems covering over 20,000 square feet of rooftop as well as the bees habitats, rainwater cisterns and soon to be installed hydroponic systems. Here are a some pictures I snapped:
5-Boro Cistern     5-Boro BioTrays
5-Boro Bee Hives      5-Boro Sedum
NYC DPR's 5 Boro Green Roof Garden     Various 5-Boro Test Sites
5-Boro Living Wall     5-Boro Courtyard Garden<br/><br/>
5boro building     5-Boro Trellis


Next up was the Illuminated Lawn which is a opened in May of 2010 only to close a couple weeks afterwards due to unexplainable brown spots in the lawn. The lawn requires a lot of maintenance and attention due to the plant material selection on a fairly thin (14″ depth) growing medium. The nearly 10,00 square foot lawn is a unique parabolic shape and features fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. It was closed for the season until the 10th (three days fom now) but we went and took a look anyway.


Next we went and had lunch at ‘witch craft inside the Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) Dave Rubinstein Atrium which won an AIA Interiors award in 2011,  is a LEED Gold certified space featuring two 20×20 living walls created by Tod Williams Bille Tsien Architects and Plant Wall Design
Lincoln Center Atrium Living Wall     Lincoln Center 20x20 living wall
David Rubenstein Atrium wall     Vertical Garden on Columbus

We decided collectively to skip The High Line and headed directly to Brooklyn to see a space the class would not normally be able to view because it is privately owned rooftop of a mixed use commercial/condo building that sits atop the F/G train Carroll Street MTA stop. I assisted with the construction of this greenroof and ground level MTA plaza with Future Green Studio. It is still unfinished but this gave the students a chance to see some exposed materials. (The adjacent Transit Garden also features some newly installed planters created by Future Green Studio)

Smith Street     F/G Carroll St MTA Plaza

Our final stop was the Future Green Studio and Nursery Space which is a short walk from the Smith Street project. Here the class got to see many of the materials we spoke about in class including MetroMix soils, filter fabrics, rubber tiles, and assorted other construction and plant materials. We had the good fortune of catching the end of a temporary art installation which was going on inside the warehouse space adjacent to the nursery and studio. We also went upstairs to check out the demonstration greenroof where I snapped this picture down on the nursery.

Future Green Studio Nursery Space

It was a beautiful day and I think everyone in attendance really enjoyed seeing all the different types of green roofs. I will be giving the class one more case studies tour on the 28th of this month. Hopefully I’ll have time to post more pics afterwards.




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