Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Gregory Cortez; courtesy V2com
One of Silicon Valley’s largest and newest rooftop park brings workplace amenities to new heights at Sunnyvale, United States.
DES Architects + Engineers (DES A+E) have just completed the Moffett Place High Garden - a two-acre rooftop park - in the heart of Silicon Valley. It is one of the largest elevated parks ever completed in the region…
Transforming what would ordinarily be an underutilized parking deck into a green oasis, the two-acres of green space is one of the central amenities to the Moffett Place campus, recently leased to Google in its entirety. The campus is the second largest office project under construction in Silicon Valley.
Covering the top of a two-level parking structure, the High Garden is a departure from typical rooftop gardens in that it provides recreation opportunities for up to 650 users!
It integrates active uses with basketball and volleyball courts for team sports; while passive uses include a community vegetable garden and a meditation garden complete with meandering rows of bamboo. Whether playing an afternoon pick-up game, walking with a co-worker, or meeting outside amongst the trees, the design intends for visitors to use the park.
An elliptical running track loops around the park’s perimeter doubling as the main means of circulation and usable fitness space. With visitors raised 30 feet in the air, the path draws people towards the roof’s edge and showcases the views of the adjacent preserved heritage trees and the Santa Cruz Mountains off in the distance.
Branching off from the running track, a raised walking deck bends in towards the park’s centre and leads visitors to a sequence of experiential settings including a putting green, volleyball court, and a large green space inspired by the local Peninsula hills with undulating berms and tree groves. These natural features add spatial definition and a sense of place.
Criss-crossing through the green space, gravel pathways connect people to shaded seating areas that provide sheltered work spaces. Alternatively, the open grass areas bring flexibility, acting as an amphitheatre for company events or simply as a space to lay out a picnic blanket.
Native and adapted grasses, shrubs, and vines — about 20 different species — celebrate the diversity of the California landscape and reduce irrigation needs. Particular plant varieties, including Cape Reed and Feather Reed Grass, attract beneficial insects and birds while providing food and habitat. Where irrigation is necessary, reclaimed water is used exclusively resulting in no impact on potable water supplies with the exception of the vegetable garden. The rooftop also contributes significantly to improved storm-water management and reductions to the heat island effect.
From within the park, you are visually connected to the campus and the surrounding natural environment. The High Garden is a place where campus users can separate themselves from the workplace while still feeling connected to the greater landscape.
Since the concept has proved successful and attractive to tech employees, DES A+E is currently designing four additional rooftop parks, the highest of which will be raised nine stories in the air overlooking the San Francisco Bay.