Architecture with green roofs designed to meet the needs of humans and nature alike!

Green roofs have been gaining a lot of popularity these days! They are slowly and steadily cementing their place as a beneficial addition to sustainable living setups in the world of architecture. They’re an eco-friendly alternative to conventional roofs as they provide natural insulation against heat and maintain a cool temperature. They also serve as efficient rainwater buffers and reduce energy usage! Not to mention they add an organic and natural touch to homes and help them effortlessly integrate with their surroundings. We’re major fans of green roofs, and we’ve curation a collection of architectural designs that truly showcase their beauty and utility. From a passive house with a living green roof to a rammed earth tiny home concept with a pitched green roof – these structures will have you ditching traditional roofs, and opting for greener ones!

In the hills of Harriman State Park (New York), plans were made to build a beautiful, contemporary-style hobbit hole known as the Black Villa. The house is stunning inside and out, especially its most eye-catching feature: the luscious grass-covered roof. Green roofs have been growing slowly in popularity over the past decade, due to their economic and environmental advantages. They can reduce energy usage by 0.7% by providing natural insulation against heat and maintaining temperatures that are 30-40°F lower than conventional rooftops. (The Black Villa also decreases the need for electricity by using skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows.) Green roofs also reduce and slow down stormwater runoff, which helps immensely in areas with poor drainage systems (usually in urban areas).

Hill House is a passive house designed and constructed by Snegiri Architects with a living green roof that blends the home seamlessly with its natural woodland surroundings. Plotted with diverse plant life and shrubbery, Hill House’s living green roof sprawls with a grass carpet filled with stonecrop and dwarf plants including chamomile and sedum. The gradual incline of Hill House’s green roof conceals the home’s structural presence, bringing the home inch by inch into the bordering woods. The rest of Hill House’s exterior strikes a balance between black-stained wood-paneled facades and natural, unstained wood-paneled eaves.

Tucked in a coastal town outside of Rio De Janeiro, Ortiz designed the residence using the ancient indigenous ‘Taperá style’ as a reference. This unique style is usually characterized to be a visually simple home with open enclosures. And this particular home follows the Taperá style in true fashion! The minimal structure features large glass facades that allow for an ample amount of natural lighting to enter and then carefully uses the streams of natural light and ventilation to its advantage. Of course, the home’s most exquisite feature is its sleek and curved green roof. The monumental roof unifies the entire home, which has been separated into three levels and follows the gentle slope of the landscape, almost concealing the segregated sections of the home, making it seem like one long and leveled structure.

In conceptualizing the Rammed Earth House, the team of architects set out to balance contemporary energy production practices with traditional building methods. Located in Dobrava, a settlement in Slovenia’s flatland region, the Rammed Earth House is inspired by the famed floating roof designed by Slovenian architect Oton Jugovec. Since rammed earth involves compacting a mixture of subsoil into an externally supported framework, the three architects behind Rammed Earth House conceptualized a concrete foundation and timber framework. It’s generally difficult to make changes to a rammed earth structure, but the home’s overhang roof allows cement to be added in the case that extra stability is needed.

Known for designing bold, daredevil retreats stationed on the edge of mountain summits and cliffsides, Eshtiyaghi maintained the same mythical energy for his most recent rendering of Tehran’s Modern Art Museum. From an aerial viewpoint, Eshtiyaghi’s museum does not form any distinct shape, progressing past geometric, sharp angles for a gleaming white roof that slopes and bulges like a white tarp covering a wild landscape. Modern museums are generally known for their conceptual architecture, a form Milad Eshtiyaghi executes well considering his wide array of escapist hideaways. The green space that surrounds Eshtiyaghi’s museum tightens the museum’s abstract energy with rolling green roofs that mimic the overlapping lines of soundwaves, offering a place to rest on its manicured lawns.

Parking Parc was inspired by the pun in its own name– Maeiyat reinterpreted the garage as both a space for parking the vehicle and as an actual greenway that resembles a children’s park. Shaped like a rolling hillside, Parking Parc provides a storage area for parked vehicles that rests beneath the garage’s grassy, recreational exterior. As currently conceptualized, photovoltaic panels punctuate the taller regions of the garage’s exterior, providing clean energy for Volvo’s XC40 Recharge to well, recharge, and enough energy to sustain the rest of the garage’s inside operations.

WTTJH is built within a rejuvenated heritage façade of rendered masonry, steel, timber, and greenery – it is where Victorian row terrace housing meets and a post-industrial warehouse aesthetic. The two-story home was close to collapse and originally occupied the 90sqm triangular site. Due to strict heritage controls, it was untouched and in despair till the rejuvenation project by CPlusC brought it back to life in a way that was conducive towards a better future for the industry and the planet. The rooftop is made from steel planter beds that provide deep soil for native plants and fruit and vegetables. The garden beds are irrigated from the fishpond providing nutrient-rich water created by the edible silver perch (fish)!

Architecture firm Coldefy will be creating a mixed-use building in Northern France. Named ‘Echo’, the structure will include an office space, and a catering and recreation program. The building will be accentuated by green terraces that will cascade one after the other, almost resembling a green river. Echo will be the ‘first bio-based building in Euralille’!

Cuba-based Veliz Arquitecto conceptualized a modern eco home called Hugging House that integrates the land’s rolling terrain and surrounding trees into the layout of the building. Hugging House is a large, bi-level, cantilevered home located somewhere with dense forestry and overhead treetop canopies. The two sections that comprise Hugging House merge together as if in an embrace. Concrete slabs comprise the home’s surrounding driveway that leads to the ground level and outdoor leisure areas.

Cohen developed the Living Shell, an architectural shell built by growing jute, felt, and wheatgrass into a form of a textile that’s laid over a bamboo frame. Turning to textile technology, Living Shell was born from Cohen’s quest to evolve layers of wheatgrass root systems into elastic, textile materials. Settling on the shell’s curvilinear structural shape, the wheatgrass textile wraps over its bamboo frame, forming layers of insulation and shade while it continues to grow. Cohen found durability in the inexpensive building material he developed from jute, felt, and wheatgrass. Layering the different roots together in a pattern that allows room for sustained growth periods, the textile’s thickness and durability increase over time as the roots continue to interlace and grow.

This cliffside villa built in harmony with nature brings out the coastal mountain’s environmental beauty!

Villa La Grintosa is an elemental residence located in the coastal city of Porto Servo, Sardinia atop a rocky massif that helped to define the home’s floor plan and harmonious layout.

Homes built in harmony with their surrounding landscapes tend to produce havens of elemental architecture. Whether the home’s layout weaves through clusters of pine trees or the rocky edge of a coastal mountainside, the challenge of letting nature decide a home’s structure is always worthwhile.

In Sardinia’s Porto Cervo, Stera Architectures, an architecture agency based in Paris, designed Villa La Grintosa, an all-season residence built to harmonize with the rocky massif it stands on.

The seaside community of Porto Cervo is no stranger to cliffside homes. With dozens of homes puncturing both sides of the mountains that give rise to the port city, Stera Architectures was in the right place when planning Villa La Grintosa.

The team of designers behind La Grintosa went into the project knowing that altering the preexisting landscape wasn’t an option. Taking it one step further, in building La Grintosa, Stera Architectures hopes to enliven the rocky massif where the home is situated.

Noting the harmony of the planning and design process, the team at Stera Architectures describes La Grintosa as an “architectural walk in harmony and continuity with nature where different universes meet and intersect.” Arranged around a central courtyard, La Grintosa’s orientation splits into two different axes–one that faces the sea and one that faces the mountain’s massif.

Arranged on two platforms, the points where these two axes meet become intersections of the home’s main living spaces. Paying credence to the home’s “architectural walk,” Stera Architectures incorporated exterior walking ramps that form a true endless loop through the home, connecting the living room on the eastern facade with the home’s lowest point.

Open-air rooms, Azulejo ceramic work, as well as the home’s uniform exterior cladding made from granite and crushed lava stone paste all work together to send home the infinite loop that Stera Architectures set out to etch into La Grintosa’s elemental layout.

Designer: Stera Architectures

The Azulejo tilework accents bring out the blue hues of the sky and coastal views. 

Open-air rooms flow between outside and interior spaces throughout the home’s floor plan. 

Curved archways meet straight-edge functional elements for a dynamic and harmonious touch. 

Outside, the taupe and gray color schemes merge with the natural rocks that surround the home.

The home’s ever-changing facade mimics the unpredictable terrain of rocky massifs. 

Outside, gray elements drape the home in an elusive guise, while the home’s white stone walls brighten the interior. 

This whimsical home designed by Arthur Dyson is an organic structure built to celebrate nature!

Located in Sanger, California, The Creek House is a home residence built by Arthur Dyson who used the philosophy of organic architecture to guide the home’s design and construction.

Walking through California will introduce you to some whimsical architecture. Perhaps the most visually mythical and storybook-like, organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture that harmonizes human habitation with the natural world.

Widely considered an adamant proponent of organic architecture, award-winning architect Arthur Dyson designed and constructed The Creek House, one of his organic residential staples. Located on Collins Creek, a tributary of the Kings River in Sanger, California, The Creek House is a home residence built in the philosophy of organic architecture that seamlessly merges into its forested surroundings.

Settled on six acres of land, The Creek House nestles into forested thickets near the base of the Sierras and Sequoia National Park, an ideal location for an organic architectural residence. The Creek House was designed in celebration of nature and its visual connection to the natural world is abundantly apparent.

Looking at the house head-on, its rustic, undulating facade formed out of what appears to be wooden shingles follows the irregular, sinuous curve found in tree rings. Even the topmost wooden panel that keeps a yellowish hue embodies the outermost perimeter of a felled tree trunk.

From the side of the house, its facades resemble the shape of a halved tree trunk, with wooden shingles continuing from the front facade to the home’s roof. The rear deck maintains the home’s completely wooden profile, dissolving an outdoor leisure area into the surrounding brushwood, ​​honeysuckles, cottonwoods, and sycamores.

While the outside of The Creek House finds natural warmth with an entirely wooden frame, the interior burgeons with natural sunlight that pours in through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Mixing natural wooden art deco accents with ’90s interior design elements, The Creek House is the kind of cozy you have to experience for yourself.

Designer: Arthur Dyson

Elements of interior design from the 1990s fill out the inside of The Creek House.

An indoor vista terrace opens up the divide between an upstairs bedroom and the downstairs living room.

Amidst white walls and glass windows, wooden art deco accents give the home some personality. 

Geometric angles and lines bring some harmony to each room of The Creek House.

This Japanese-inspired residence features a multi-tiered, sloping roof that mimics the gentle curve of fallen leaves!

Four Leaves Villa designed by Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio (KIAS) is a form of organic architecture with a gently twisted, multi-tiered roof that mimics the sloping curve of fallen leaves and a central garden courtyard, the home’s concealed centerpiece.

150 kilometers from the buzzing city streets of Tokyo, Japan, a forested plot of land in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture of Japan, is home to a weekend retreat designed to mirror the fallen leaves that surround it. Dubbed Four Leaves Villa, the privately-owned residence is a form of organic architecture with a split-level roof designed by Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio (KIAS) that mimics the undulating, overlapping pattern of fallen leaves.

Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture with a primary goal of harmonizing human habitation with nature. Following the philosophy of organic architecture, the varying orientations of Four Leaves Villa’s living and dining spaces were specifically chosen with consideration to the use of each space and the amount of natural sunlight that might benefit each room’s function.

The living and dining areas face southeast to collect pools of natural sunlight, brightening each room during the day for meals and social gatherings. Then, the bedrooms are posed west to catch views of the forest’s dense brushwood that provides a sense of privacy during the day and coziness at night.

The gently twisted roofs also provide plenty of overhangs to brace guests against the blaze of sun rays. The constructional combination of a concave and convex roof makes for a dynamic interior volume. Where the roof inclines outside, the interior ceiling, lined with exposed wooden beams, reaches lofty heights.

Describing the roof in their own words, KIAS notes, “Every roof has been designed as a Ruled Surface in which straight Laminated Veneer Lumber joists are arranged continuously to form an organic geometry. A series of wooden joists are exposed on the ceiling highlighting the dynamic spatial characters of each living space.”

The interior living, dining, and sleeping spaces are split between three interconnected structural volumes placed on site amongst a preexisting lot of trees. From above, the open-air garden courtyard functions as the home’s centerpiece and the point where the three structural volumes meet, offering an outdoor leisure area where the home’s guests can come together and spend time in nature.

Designer: Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio (KIAS)

Four Leaves Villa’s floor plan reveals the three structural volumes without their roofs and the garden courtyard that functions as their centerpiece. 

What if nature co-designed furniture with humans?

The inspiration behind the form of the Wild Chair is pretty unique. Imagine leaving a chair out in a forest and having nature take over it, with moss, vines, and trellises. Its solid form, being covered by interweaving branches and stems. Now remove the chair from the equation and what are you left with?

The Wild Chair is the answer to that question. Designed with an organic form that highlights the intricate stylings of cane furniture, Eugeni Quitllet’s Wild Chair feels like a wild material domesticated. The chair, which was created during the lockdown, came from Quitllet often pondering what would happen if he left his chair in the wild and let nature absolutely take over. “I’m seeing at this moment how nature is taking its place back everywhere, in the sea, in the air, in the ground, in the city… and now in design! And why not… We will grow chairs like vegetables and modify seeds genetically to grow new designs”, said the Catalan designer.

Designer: Eugeni Quitllet

These 3D-Printed lamps were designed using algorithms that copy coral growth patterns

John Mauriello, the designer behind the Coral Lighting Collection, has a very beautiful way of describing his creation. You’re not looking at a lamp, or a coral… you’re looking at a moment frozen in time. These lamps are the work of complex algorithms simulating natural growth, but they’re also just as equally the moment that John decided to press pause on the simulation.

Say hello to Timor, Sargasso, and Celebes, three members of John’s Coral Lighting Collection. Inspired by different styles of corals, the lamps come with varying aesthetics that reflect the visual characteristics of each coral-type. The way John went about creating these unique lights was to first develop the computational design algorithms that mimic growth patterns found in nature. “The lighting collection is my way of paying tribute to the beauty of the ocean. As a veteran surfer, I’ve experienced the power and beauty of the ocean while enjoying each wave as its own unique moment in time. One of many magical living structures in our great oceans is coral. With a diverse range of color, shape, and scale, coral is an entire ecosystem of thriving life. My lighting celebrates this life”, says Mauriello.

Designed to look just as pretty even when switched off, the lamps are part installation, part lighting design. As pretty as any ornate vase, each lamp comes with a stable design that allows it to stand on its base without tipping over. Printed in a white cloudy material (almost resembling ceramic), the lamps come with LED lights built-in, which shine through the lamp’s uneven cross-section to create brighter and duller regions based on the form. It’s captivating to look at when switched off… but switch it on and it looks hauntingly beautiful! In an effort to reduce waste and curb carbon emissions, all lamps are 3D printed in the USA, using processes that allow for recycling of any waste material in the manufacturing process. The lamps will be up for presale soon, you can head down to John Mauriello’s website to leave your email and get notified when the collection goes on sale.

Designer: John Mauriello

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