Part of the proposed feather design
The ultimate roof garden
One of the most urban locations in Manchester is preparing to get all flowered up as the City Council announce plans to put a 'living roof' on the top of the Piccadilly Gardens pavilion.
The Tadao Ando designed building will be covered in wildlife-friendly plants and grasses, all designed to attract insects, butterflies and birds to the heart of the city, and during the summer, the plants will also be a shock of colour to top off the concrete structure.
The pavilion's living roof (artist's impression)
The design of the garden, by architects Grant Associates (who are also behind Britian’s first ever urban water park, which is forming part of the New Islington project in Ancoats), is to be based on a feather, with both its tapering shape and different bands of nectar-rich wildflowers, sedums and gravel echoing the feather's form.
The idea of a living roof is one which the Council is currently encouraging throughout the city to add to its attempts to make Manchester the greenest city in Britain.
After all, living roofs not only provide habitats for city-dwelling flora and fauna, they also help adapt the city to the changing climate – one of their advantages is that they help prevent flooding by absorbing heavy rainfall.
The city’s first ever living roof will be at Building Design Partnership's new headquarters in Piccadilly Basin, where they’re hoping to encourage the rarely seen Black Redstart to fly into the city centre, but it’s not just in town that the idea is being taken up – amongst others, Chorlton’s Unicorn Grocery will be getting a nature-rich roof.
City Council leader Sir Richard Leese is fully behind the idea, saying it is "a highly imaginative way of bringing wildlife into the heart of Manchester. It will be a prominent example of our commitment to encourage biodiversity through high quality design."
Subject to planning approval, building the garden should get underway early next year.
last updated: 18/10/07