Private Halle Belgium “Rooftop as Part of a City Park”
4,844 sf. Greenroof
Greenroofs.com Featured Project November 21, 2022
Picturesque squares, restaurants, and architecture greet residents and visitors to historic Halle, Belgium, granted municipal rights in 1225 by Johanna of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders and Hainaut. The touristic area has much to offer, including museums, many parks, and castles.
At least seven centuries old, Halle is also the site of a popular pilgrimage to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Sint-Martinusbasiliek (Basilica of Saint Martin), also known as the Gothic Church of Our Lady, is a basilica in High Gothic style containing a celebrated image of the Holy Virgin, that of a Black Madonna.
We’ve selected the private “Rooftop as Part of a City Park” project because of its sheer beauty and lovely focus on biodiversity and nature on the built environment in Halle. Designer Denis Dujardin BV is deservedly proud of this highly visible, yet private, roof garden and should be applauded for not only his work, but his design ethic focusing on sustainability!
Happy Thanksgiving for all of you who celebrate, and we are thankful for the designers, creators, and promoters of living architecture and making our world a better, more peaceful place to live!
Excerpt from the Greenroofs.com Project Profile:
Known for its Renaissance town hall and St Martin’s Basilica, Halle is a city located in the Flemish Brabant province of Belgium. Halle is also renowned for its lush Blue Forest or Hallerbos, where each spring, a dreamlike carpet of bluebells overtakes the forest floor of beech and oak trees. No wonder nature and biodiversity take centerstage in the “Rooftop as Part of a City Park.”
Located near Brussels, a naturalistic roof garden was constructed on top of a private parking garage in Halle in 2016. The biodiverse colorful garden is situated within a part of a 19th century park, next to a castle that has been turned into office space.
Designer Denis Dujardin BV says the palette of plants is selected for drought resistance; substrate depth; and type of planting system. The greenroof is only irrigated sporadically in the event of extreme drought.
The substrate depths on this semi-intensive sloping Optigrün greenroof vary from an average of 15 cm to 80 cm at the edges. The designer has opted for a more naturalistic dynamic, the same principle they apply to rain gardens and bioswales. Designed so wild plants can spread spontaneously on the roof, they employ the management of ‘intelligent and selective weeding’ to only remove what takes over or that which compromises diversity.
The main aim is to achieve a diversified picture with a high ground cover aspect, and the plants re-sow themselves or reproduce by stolons. Two types of plants are used, groundcovers and self-sowing species. The first take care of the lateral covering the structure, and include Lamb’s Ear, Takeshima Stonecrop, and Sea Campion.
The others shape the vertical aspect such as Oblong Spurge, Red Evening-Primrose, and Purpletop Vervain which allow the landscape to change every year. Although individual numbers have fluctuated, all the species planted have survived so far. Yellow Toadflax has since spread between them, the first native plant to take its place among the vegetation.
The most spectacular flowering period is between May and July, when the sea of flowers extends behind the castle and people in their offices have beautiful views from their windows. Every year the design of the greenroof changes, which makes the process exciting.
And from spring onwards, there are many birds, insects and butterflies visiting this naturalistic sea of flowers at the “Rooftop as Part of a City Park”.
Location: Halle, Belgium
Building Program: Above-Ground Parking Garage
Greenroof Type: Semi-Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 4,844 sq.ft.
Access: Accessible, Private
DENIS DUJARDIN BV
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By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
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