A rooftop in Southwark will become an urban forest by 2024.
Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – the former Blackfriars Crown Court building is being transformed into a six story sustainable hub, complete with a one-acre rooftop garden. This garden will consist of over 100 trees, 10,000 plants and 1,300 tonnes of soil, making it an urban forest by definition. According to the United Nations, any area that has a canopy cover of least 20% is technically a forest, and this venue is aiming for 25% coverage. Fun fact: London’s 8.4 million trees equal a 21% canopy cover, so the Big Smoke is technically an urban forest in itself! You learn something new everyday.
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Roots in the Sky is being developed by Fabrix Capital, and will become one of the largest gardens in Europe. Not only will this roof garden provide an oasis of calm for Londoners, but the greenery will also significantly increase the biodiversity in the area. The urban forest will feature community gardens, allotments, and a potting shed, as well as a seed bank for the local community to enjoy.
It is not just the roof that is getting a makeover… The new and improved venue will include a bar, restaurant and a glass-floored infinity pool heated by the building’s waste. There will also be a green atrium, an auditorium, a café, retail kiosks and private offices available to the public. Roots in the Sky aims to be a “genuine place for community uses”, offering Londoners sustainable ways to work, socialise and relax.
Clive Nichol, CEO of Fabrix, said “This building anticipates the shift in the way people are thinking about their working life post-Covid. It’s designed with generous spaces and natural ventilation, access to nature and a mix of uses that reflects new ways of working and living.”
Construction will begin early next year and it is set to be complete by 2024. It’s true what they say, the grass is always greener…