Green infrastructure, including the installation of plants on under-utilised urban surfaces, can provide significant benefits for our cities. These green interventions can cool the urban environment, reduce energy consumption, mitigate flooding and increase habitats for biodiversity. They provide an opportunity to evolve the way we develop the built environment, to maximise existing infrastructure and lower the need for costly upgrades.
The Burnley Living Roofs at the University of Melbourne's Burnley Campus is a world-class research and teaching facility – and the first of its kind in Australia. The University has established the facility to demonstrate to the wider community how green transformations can be achieved in our cities, aspiring to lead through example.
Designed by HASSELL in close collaboration with the University's leading academic green roof technology and urban horticulture researchers, the Burnley Living Roofs provide purpose-built facilities for the University to continue their pioneering research. They also enable the University to carry on providing information and independent advice on green infrastructure technologies that is practical and deliverable in the Australian climate.
Three separate living roofs make up the facility, each with a specific function. Firstly, the Demonstration Roof acts as an exhibition and interpretive space for day-to-day educational activities. Its design evolved through the layering of multiple functional objectives – starting with the idea that the whole green roof was a wedge, grading from a shallow to a deep profile. It is sub-divided into irrigated and non-irrigated territories, establishing diverse planting zones. Superimposed over the wedge, a circular walkway encounters each micro plant community and includes seating edges and a number of pockets for teaching. A series of red lines whimsically thread through the garden, sometimes tying together these experiences, at other times encapsulating fragments of other experimental landscape zones.
Scale: 500 sqm
Sourced from: HASSELL Studio. Photos: Peter Bennetts