Secret Garden: Orchard on Home Rooftop
Like another living layer on top of the core concrete structures and wooden support buildings, this extensive (and intensive) green roof system is more than just a sustainable building strategy – it is a way of connecting people and places within this curious and layered complex.
The site itself is dotted with a series of independent buildings for various functions and members of the family. The roofs provide insulation, clean air and even edible produce but are also linked together by a system of bridges and stairs. Sadly (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), this critical design choice would not be possible in places with stricter building codes (this dwelling was designed by RA Architects and built in Japan).
The ‘core’ functions are contained at the corners of the plot in concrete bunker-like boxes, including the master living quarters and spaces for cars. The ‘secondary’ uses expected to change over time – such as living, dining and rooms for children – are housed inside of in-between structures of more temporary materials (mainly wood).
The complex that arises from these connected-but-distinct elements feels almost more like a small co-op or community dwelling system than a family home, combining elements of privacy with spaces for public connection. Yet on top of it all, there is the direct experience of literally living together under a single (very green) roof.
“From the surrounding environment, we thought that combining small volumes would be more in harmony with the surrounding environment than one large volume. As a result, we read the owner’s request and planned 12 one-story boxes with different volumes and colors according to their functions. , They were arranged in a ring. Residents can live while wandering around this ring-shaped plan. A garden is created in the center of the ring of boxes arranged in a row, and gardens of various sizes are created between the border with the rectangular adjacent land. The plan is to connect the inside and the outside in various places.”
“And above all, the feature of this plan is the orchard on the roof. Considering the heat insulation of the room, most of the roofs of the one-story houses were greened, and trees and vegetable gardens with fruits were planned. This rooftop orchard is a garden for families to grow while enjoying the fruit, and at the same time a landscape that neighbors can visually enjoy through the windows on the second floor, and the residents can enjoy it. It is also a community garden that provides the fruits harvested to the neighbors and celebrates the harvest together. And birds and insects will gather and their songs will be fun for everyone living here.”