In 2012, social media giant Twitter relocated their headquarters into the historic Market Square building, originally built in 1937. On the ninth floor, the project incorporated a lush living roof area and surrounded by fun activity space with tables and chairs. Unfortunately, most people do not even know it’s there!
“Living Roofs at Your Feet!” will spread awareness of the many different uses for San Francisco’s valuable rooftop space.
Help make San Francisco Living Roofs Visible to Everyone.
Establish and promote a connection between the people who work and live in the area
Utilize the large sidewalk space to create activity in an area that is typically not a gathering space
Showcase this particular roof to educate the public on higher and better uses for roofs Citywide
Living roofs have many benefits but they are often not accessible to the public. This prototype will provide the opportunity for people to interact with a living roof and provide a place for connection on Market Street’s expansive sidewalks. Like the Twitter building, many buildings in San Francisco are utilizing their rooftop space for higher and better purposes. “Living Roofs at Your Feet” will help educate and spread awareness of an innovative and sustainable design element that has a multitude of benefits including: stormwater management, habitat and biodiversity, building energy savings and activity space.
This project will expand the field of vision that pedestrians have on the sidewalk by allowing them to see and touch what is on the roof of 1355 Market Street. Not only will people be able to interact with different living roof elements; they also will be able to control a video drone to visually explore Twitter’s living roof. There will be a live video feed projected in the viewing shed during the day and night. By incorporating this video playback combined with physical elements of the living roof - everyone will be able to experience the fun and understand the benefits of living roofs.
We will provide a pamphlet about living roofs and other public open spaces along Market Street that residents and locals might not know about. The project has potential to expand to other roof locations to educate pedestrians who may not know about what is up above them. Passerbys will also learn statistics and fun facts about living roofs as they experience the different sections of the prototype. We will showcase the importance of using climate appropriate plants and identify the plants at Twitter’s rooftop. The team will plans to seek guidance from the San Francisco Department of the Environment for on sustainable materials for the installation. After the festival, the planters will be donated and seedlings and plants in the planters will be given away to the public to encourage them to start their own home garden. We’re excited to be proposing this protoype in the Civic Center District and look forward to the opportunity of working with the world renowned Exploratorium Team which has expertise in designing educational, fun interactive installations.
This project will serve as an opportunity to open the dialogue to promote and create more publicly accessible living roofs for open space for people who live and work in the neighborhood. After visiting Twitter’s living roof, we learned just how valuable this space is. Not only is it used during lunchtime, but also for outdoor meetings and social gatherings. People are not the only users of this space either, birds and bug species have found habitat in the greenery amongst the dense urban area along Market Street. We want to help spread the word about this livingroof and the many other roofs along Market Street that most people don’t know - we hope that someday living roofs can be open and accessible by the public!
We will engage with people who live/work in and around the building and Civic Center district to listen to which elements they like most about the living roof and incorporate them into the design at street level. Will we also reach out to the Green Roof Alliance, a local advocacy group to promote the prototype and to encourage better use of our valuable rooftop space. As this project will also be located near bike share, we will interact with those who frequently use bike share to understand how different living roof elements at the sidewalk could best serve these users at all times of the day.
Our research of the many different living roofs in the area has provided great background knowledge of the existing conditions in San Francisco. Speaking with green roof professionals, maintenance, and landscape designers has given us a lot of information on how living roofs can succeed in the City and this prototype will be a way to further our research and help spread the word!
If you like this idea, "me too" it to stay updated on it's progress. Feel free to share your insights in the "How can you help?" section. If you'd like to get involved with this project, let us know. You can fill out a volunteer form to help with the overall festival here