Phoenix Rooftop is a green refuge in the unlikeliest of places – 30-stories high, on an exposed, yet spectacular site in the centre of Melbourne. This sky-scraping garden means two down-sizers don’t need to sacrifice the joy and health benefits of a ‘backyard’ as they transition from suburbs to city.
The project provides the same functional requirements one would find in an average suburban garden, demonstrating similar spaces can be incorporated into dense urban environments. The site is broken into three distinct, yet connected zones: standing zone, sitting zone, eating zone. Raised garden beds filled with fragrant and flowering plants act as a wind break, a balustrade, and help to delineate and enclose each of these zones.
An arbour straddles the garden, shading, shielding and protecting the occupants. The arbour is designed to respond to each zone’s relative need for privacy, sunlight, and protection from the wind and rain, using a combination of creepers and timber battens.
This project embodies our philosophy that green roofs should be designed to be enjoyed and experienced by people – to be outdoor rooms, not just a sustainability initiative, but a versatile and an enjoyable space in its own right. To us, creating functional, beautiful and liveable rooftop gardens adds a layer of social sustainability to the environmental outcomes green roofs alone can provide and improves the quality of the clients’ lives.
Dealing with the unique challenges of an exposed and overlooked site, atop a building never designed to support the load of a green roof, Phoenix Rooftop demonstrates the potential of rooftop gardens, even in the most extreme environments and urban contexts.