Top 5 Coolest Green Roofs Around the World

Top 5 Coolest Green Roofs Around the World

As green roofs (also known as living roofs or rooftop gardens) gain in popularity, we witness more and more innovation and creativity in the world of green roof architecture. We’ve been keeping our eyes on the green roof trend, and as environmental conservation lingers in the forefront of the minds of U.S. citizens and decision makers, we thought it was about time to compile a list of the top 5 coolest green roofs around the world.

Biesbosch Museum Island – Werkendam, The Netherlands

Year Constructed: 2015

The Biesbosch Museum Island is located in one of the only remaining freshwater tidal wetlands in all of Northern Europe. Not only does this museum have a green roof, but it also serves as a water retention plant in order to serve the national water safety program of The Netherlands. Perhaps the highlight of the museum, however, is the vibrant living rooftop. From a certain angle, you can hardly even tell that a building exists underneath the green grasses, which allow it to blend in seamlessly with the rolling hillsides. The museum’s green rooftop serves as natural insulation, helping to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter. And it looks beautiful, too.

Paul Chevallier School – Rillieux-la-Pape, France

Year Constructed: 2013

The Paul Chevallier School in France is truly one of a kind. The goal was to make students feel surrounded by nature – and the living green roofs certainly accomplish that. The rooftop is sprinkled with wildflowers and lush grases, which allow the students and teachers to feel inspired by the abundance of nature at their fingertips. If you want to give the message that you care about science, nature, and being eco-friendly, then a green roof is a surefire way to do it.

California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco, California

Year Constructed: 2008

We just had to include the California Academy of Sciences on our list of the coolest green roofs in the world, simply because it’s part of Element Roofing’s home turf. Put in place when the Cal Academy was redesigned in 2008, the living rooftop truly represents the heart and soul of the academy. Overy 87% of the academy is covered by a green roof, keeping the building well insulated. The green roof is used for educational purposes, but also helps to conserve water, provide a natural habitat for birds and insects, and purify the surrounding air.

While it’s not a living roof, we also want to mention the SF MOMA Living Wall, which was constructed in 2016 as part of the museum’s redesign.

Volcano Hotel – Olot, Spain
HCO 00

HCO 17Year Constructed: TBA

While it hasn’t yet been constructed, the Volcano Hotel in Spain is too cool to pass up. Looking more like some kind of space pod, the Volcano Hotel plans show not only a living roof, but an entire living exterior. Designed to mimic the structure of a volcanic vent, this hotel and conference center would be a main attraction for anyone visiting the Garrotxa volcanic re
gion in Spain.

Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall – Fukuoka, Japan

Year Constructed: 1994

The oldest green roof on our list of the coolest green roofs around the world is the Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Japan. Completed over 20 years ago, the green roof acted as a compromise between needing more green open space parks and needing a building that was functional. The hall is designed with 15 terraces, each topped with a living roof, resulting in a breathtaking work of agro-urban architecture. A study in 2000 showed that this green roof resulted in a drastically lower temperature when compared to the surrounding concrete.