Through its semi-extensive roof garden, the Artesis Plantijn University College’s North Campus at Park Spoor Noord has created a green crown for the city. The striking roof garden provides a beautiful view for surrounding inhabitants and the workers in the neighbouring high-rises as well as the patients of the ZNA Cadix hospital, which is soon to be built. But this roof of greenery is much more than just a visual attraction.
The loose-knit but sophisticated approach to planting has created an exciting interplay of lines and colours. Irregular polygons of green, red and yellow stonecrops intersect a linear pattern of carnations, chives and grey hair-grass. Thanks to the fact that the substrate is thicker than usual, the roof garden has many ecological benefits – the bottom layer can buffer more rain water and the larger plants provide for more evaporation, and thus a greater cooling effect. This means that considerably less rainwater is drained away, which makes a big difference, especially during a large rainstorm.
The roof garden also benefits the urban natural world, as it gives space to a variety of partially indigenous plants and consequently welcomes many types of insects too. And the garden roof also filters particulates from the air and absorbs noise – two major current urban issues.
The green crown can soon also be seen using Google maps.