For his book, Up on the Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces (Princeton Architectural Press), photographer Alex MacLean went up so that he could look down. From the vantage of a helicopter, MacLean documented the city, shooting iconic water towers, architectural details, green roofs, and elaborate multiuse spaces. The resulting images give a new perspective on life in New York and point to the city’s potential. As Robert Campbell writes in the book’s introduction: “Rooftops will be the lungs of the denser city of the future.” MacLean tells us more about what his book reveals.
It is difficult to pinpoint when the living roof jumped from eco-fantasy to eco-solution — there have been startling and innovative green roofs all across the country and in Europe seemingly forever. But in my mind, technology and design caught up with the dream in 2008 when a sweeping marvel of native plants, wildflowers, and engineering was built atop San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences.
Yesterday, I had a chance to have a sneak peek at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's new visitor center, which is slated to open to the public on May 16, 2012. The new visitor center, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, was built to create a more formal entry from the street into the garden, creating a place to welcome and orient tour groups, a larger gift store with room for plant sales throughout the year, and an event space.