It’s been almost a century since Le Corbusier, published in the 20s his “Theory of the roof-garden,” seed of the fifth of his five points for a new architecture, which addresses the use of the terrace. Although we can think that climbing up the roof is an ancient impulse of human and technical progress of constructive solutions, today roofs of our cities are underused.
The project “living-roof”-(re) activate the roofs proposes an exploration of the possibilities of use of contemporary urban roofs, transforming them -through its use- in an architectural space to be lived and used as support activities associated with their condition of elevated plane over the cityscape.
The origin of the investigation was the roof of Ebro Environmental Center, also in Zaragoza, exploring the possibilities of a public facility as urban space, viewpoint, energy collector, green area, and even as urban garden. With this experience, the new project is focused on private landscapes, boosting facilities and activities in the field of domesticity, which also reflected the momentum in other sectors, such as hotel, to opportunities to use roofs.
The pavilions overlooking Zaragoza tend to be a prototype of a portable and removable modular installation, that transforms an old tiled terrace in a supporting system of outdoor activities, making the cityscape in the background of the new uses. The arrangement of the L-pavilions -linked by a longitudinal pergola – set the limits of space, along with the landscaping in the remaining two sides of the perimeter of the roof.
The used materials allow a quick assembly in two weeks and enhance the dissolution of boundaries between inside and outside, especially in the case of sliding and stacking joinery, which transform the pavilions in outdoor porches. The dual orientation of the pavilions enhance cross ventilation, power attractive views over the historic town while gardening on the opposite side, as a vegetal lattice, limits visions towards the residential fabric of the environment.
Location: Historical city centre, Zaragoza, Spain
Area: 242.65 sqm
Architects: Magen arquitectos
Photographs: Simon Garcia – arqfoto.com