Greenroofs.com Project of the Week for May 7, 2018: Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms)

May 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm


Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & TomsKensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms)
London, UK
65,340 sf Greenroof

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo: The Roof Gardens/Virgin.

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: May 7, 2018

London’s iconic and beautiful 1938 Kensington Roof Gardens – and celebrity party venue – closed its doors to the public in early January.  Citing an ever changing London market and unpredictable market conditions, Virgin Limited Edition decided to close their doors.

As an English Heritage-designated Grade II Site added to the National Heritage List for England, the gardens will remain intact but who will maintain the site, with its four resident flamingos, is up in the air.  The historic Derry & Toms Roof Gardens was designed by Ralph Hancock, the same designer as the equally famous ‘Garden of the Nations’ of 1933-1935 atop the eleventh floor of the RCA building at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Also read the April 27, 2018 guest feature 37 Years After Opening to the Public, the Kensington Roof Gardens Has Closed Down by Pedro Dias here on Greenroofs.com for more info on this important urban greening project.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo: @theroofgardens (Instagram account now closed).

Mini Description & Details

The Roof Gardens (formerly known as Derry and Toms Roof Gardens and the Kensington Roof Gardens) is a 6,000 m2 exotic urban oasis situated six floors up and 100 feet above Kensington High Street in London.  Closed as of January 2018, Virgin Limited Edition, the most recent leaseholder, was not able to reach an agreement with the freeholder about renewal of the lease.

Previously occupied and made famous by the Derry & Toms Department Store, The Roof Gardens has been owned by Sir Richard Branson since 1982.  Part of Virgin Limited Edition, they hosted a members’ club, a private function venue and the Babylon Restaurant on the seventh floor overlooking the gardens.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo: @theroofgardens

The Roof Gardens was open to the public during this time.  In 1936, Welsh landscape architect Ralph Hancock designed the roof garden.  Over a two-year period Hancock planted more than 500 species of plants and shrubs within 18-36” of growing media in the one and a half acre site.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

A plan of the roof gardens in a 1950s promotional pamphlet” – designed by Ralph Hancock – from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

L: “A Garden in the Sky” from Parks and Gardens UK; R: “A Spanish garden on a roof in London” from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library.

The Derry and Toms Roof Gardens opened in May 1938.  Queen Mary and other members of the British Royal family visited the roof gardens early after opening.  At the time, the roof garden was London and Europe’s largest intensive greenroof.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

“Queen Mary visiting the roof gardens” from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Flamingos in the Woodland Garden.  Photo: The Roof Gardens/Virgin.

The three themed gardens include: the Spanish Garden, planted with palm trees with a court of fountains, as well as Moorish colonnades and vine-covered walkways; the formal Tudor Courtyard, which features Hancock’s trademark herringbone brickwork pathways and impressive Tudor-inspired arches; and the English Woodland Garden, with over 100 trees and a flowing stream with fish, ducks, and four resident flamingos.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photos: The Roof Gardens/Virgin.

More

Now closed after 37 years of one of London’s best-known nightlife scenes and event venues, plans for The Roof Gardens remain uncertain.

As an English Heritage-designated Grade II Site, the gardens will not be demolished but who will maintain the site is unknown.  London’s most famous and historic roof garden may still yet have a future as a secret garden in the sky.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Dave Walker’s Derry and Toms Roof Garden Postcard from the Trevor Bowen Estate from The Library Time Machine of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies Library.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Kensington_roof_gardens_tent.jpg” by flickr user Bryce Edwards CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Kensington_roof_gardens_window.JPG” by Tomhannen at English Wikipedia Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Year: 1938
Owner:
Virgin Limited Edition
Location:
London, England, UK
Building Type:
Commercial
Type:
Intensive
System:
Custom
Size:
65340 sq.ft.
Slope:
1%
Access:
Accessible, Private

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photos courtesy of Something Different London.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Commissioned by: Trevor Bowen, Barkers
Landscape Architect: Ralph Hancock
Architect: Bernard George
2008-2009 Restoration: Conservation Officer, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, English Heritage, Colwyn Foulkes and Randle Siddeley
The Roof Gardens Head Gardener: David Lewis

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

A Chilean Flamingo in the Kensington Roof Gardens. Kensington_roof_gardens_flamingo.jpg by flickr user Bryce Edwards CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

All the Info:

View the Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms)  project profile to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo courtesy of Something Different London.

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms) Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week 5/07/18 video photo credits: Courtesy of Something Different London; Virgin Limited Edition; Dave Walker’s Derry and Toms Roof Garden Postcard, Trevor Bowen and Miss Diana Wynyard 1940s, and Spanish Garden from the Trevor Bowen Estate from The Library Time Machine of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies Library;  A Spanish garden on a roof in London,  A plan of the roof gardens in a 1950s promotional pamphlet, and Queen Mary visiting the roof gardens from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library; @theroofgardens (Instagram account now closed); Derry’s Kensington, A Garden in the Sky, and Sun Pavilion Derry Gardens from Parks and Gardens UKDerry & Toms 26.JPG by Edwardx, Own work licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons; Kensington_roof_gardens_tent.jpg by flickr user Bryce Edwards CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons; and Kensington_roof_gardens_window.JPG by Tomhannen at English Wikipedia Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms) profile.

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits Host

Discover Toronto’s First Vertical Forest, a 21-Acre Roof Park and More at Grey to Green 2018

May 3, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

Discover More at Grey to Green 2018

Brought to you by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the Grey to Green 2018 Conference in Toronto will highlight some of the latest advancements in green infrastructure design, research, and policy.  With content ranging from local to international, you will gain insight into the practices of leading industry professionals who are changing the way we design our cities.

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

Grey to Green commences with a FREE public forum on May 15th at Toronto Metro Hall to discuss Designing Future Cities with Green Infrastructure.  Discover a concept that will transform the Bloor Viaduct into a “Living Bridge” complete with individual housing suites, restaurants, hotels as well as pedestrian and bike paths; explore the viability behind the proposed 21-acre park in downtown Toronto that would be built overtop of the rail corridor and discuss new policy developments that facilitate green infrastructure investment in Ontario.

An Expert Line-up

On Wednesday May 16th, the technical sessions will showcase a lineup of speakers that are leading the way for green infrastructure innovation, adoption, and widespread implementation.  With over 50 expert speakers and two keynote panels, Grey to Green is the premier event for connecting with actors driving the green infrastructure industry.

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

On May 16th, attend the Policy Roundtable, Creating a Better Policy Environment to Intensity Green Infrastructure Application.  Dr. Hamid Karimi will discuss Washington, DC’s innovative stormwater retention credit trading system where property owners buy and sell credits on the open market; John Mackenzie will share opportunities for greater collaboration between provincial and municipal policy; and Steven Peck will reveal the new Living Architecture Performance Tool for green roofs and green walls.

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

The Afternoon Keynote features Craig Applegath, Founding Principal of DIALOG’s Toronto Studio, who will present Addressing Climate Change through Green Infrastructure; Paul Kephart, Principal, Ecologist and Designer at Rana Creek Design, shares details on San Francisco’s new Transbay Terminal Center Rooftop Park and the JNBY Headquarters Rooftop Tea Production in Hangzhou, China; and Brian Brisbin, Principal at Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects, reveals the plans for Toronto’s First Vertical Forest.

Technical Sessions, Training & Tours

Technical Sessions focus on a variety of green infrastructure applications including biophilic design, urban agriculture, stormwater monitoring, dynamic landscapes and new this year, In the Design Studio with sessions.

For more information check out the Agenda here!

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

Grey to Green will also feature a variety of training courses on May 15th such as Biophilic Design, Introduction to Rooftop Urban Agriculture, Green Roof Design & Installation and Green Walls 101.  To top off the event we have also curated an array of tours to highlight Toronto’s outstanding green infrastructure projects.  Explore the connection between green infrastructure and healthcare on the Healthy Hospitals Tour, get your boots dirty with a bus tour of the Gro-Bark mulch production facility, and learn from green wall experts Laura Kennedy and Mitch Cowburn of Nedlaw Living Walls on the Green Wall Walking Tour.

See the Training Courses here and Tours here!

Grey to Green Conference // greytogreenconference.org
Green Infrastructure: Jobs, Health & Community Resilience

Grey to Green Conference is pending approval for up to 7.5 Continuing Education / Professional Development Hours by LA CES, AIA CES, BOMI, APLD and RCI.

To register, visit greytogreenconference.org.

Don’t Miss Toronto’s First Green Infrastructure Week

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

Grey to Green Conference is excited to be the anchor event for the region’s first Green Infrastructure Week (GIW).  GIW is May 13-19, 2018 and will feature a variety of tours and workshops designed to promote the benefits of green infrastructure.

Don’t miss the guided tour of Trillium Park, a tour of Ripple Farms’ vertical aquaponics facility, and the Toronto East End Rain Garden Crawl!

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

For more information on Green Infrastructure Week, visit greytogreenconference.org/giw.

~ Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC)

Discover More Grey to Green 2018

GRHC’s mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs and green walls, and other forms of living architecture through education, advocacy, professional development and celebrations of excellence.

Visit www.greenroofs.org for more information.

Contact Steven Peck, GRHC founder and president at speck@greenroofs.org and 416-971-4494 x 233.

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure at Grey to Green 2018, by GRHC

April 4, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Grey to Green Conference // greytogreenconference.org
Green Infrastructure: Jobs, Health & Community Resilience

Save $50 When You Register Before April 30th!

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure Grey to Green 2018 Save $50

Grey to Green 2018

The 6th Annual Grey to Green Conference is taking place May 15-16, 2018 at the Chestnut Conference Centre in Toronto.  Grey to Green focuses on green infrastructure design, research and policy and connects professionals working to integrate natural elements into the built environment.

Brought to you by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the 2018 agenda features a wide variety of innovative content on stormwater management, urban agriculture, biophilic design, green infrastructure and the Internet of Things, and designing green communities.

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure Grey to Green 2018 Save $50

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure

Grey to Green commences with a FREE public forum on May 15th at Toronto Metro Hall to discuss Designing Future Cities with Green Infrastructure.  Discover a concept that will transform the Bloor Viaduct into a “Living Bridge” complete with individual housing suites, restaurants, hotels as well as pedestrian and bike paths; explore the viability behind the proposed 21-acre park in downtown Toronto that would be built overtop of the rail corridor and discuss new policy developments that facilitate green infrastructure investment in Ontario.

On May 16th, the technical sessions will showcase a lineup of speakers that are leading the way for green infrastructure adoption and widespread implementation. These thought leaders and change agents will give you exclusive access into their design processes, research findings and policy developments that will no doubt be part of our future urban fabric.

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure Grey to Green 2018 Save $50

Don’t miss the Afternoon Keynote featuring Craig Applegath, Founding Principal of DIALOG’s Toronto Studio who will present Addressing Climate Change through Green Infrastructure; Paul Kephart, Principal, Ecologist and Designer at Rana Creek Design as he talks about San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal Center Rooftop Park as well as discussing the work on the JNBY Headquarters Rooftop Tea Production in Hangzhou, China; and Brian Brisbin, Principal at Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects in his presentation on Toronto’s First Vertical Forest.

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure Grey to Green 2018 Save $50

Courses and Tours

Grey to Green will also feature a variety of training courses on May 15th such as Biophilic Design, Introduction to Rooftop Urban Agriculture, Green Roof Design & Installation and Green Walls 101.

To top off the event we have also curated an array of tours to highlight Toronto’s outstanding green infrastructure projects.  Explore the connection between green infrastructure and healthcare on the Healthy Hospitals Tour, get your boots dirty with a bus tour of the Gro-Bark mulch production facility and learn from green wall experts, Laura Kennedy and Mitch Cowburn of Nedlaw Living Walls on the Green Wall Walking Tour.

Learn more at greytogreenconference.org.

Save $50

Register now as early bird rates end April 30, 2018.

Grey to Green Conference is pending approval for up to 7.5 Continuing Education / Professional Development Hours by LA CES, AIA CES, BOMI, APLD and RCI.

To register, visit greytogreenconference.org.

Green Infrastructure Week

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure Grey to Green 2018 Save $50

Grey to Green Conference is excited to be the anchor event for the region’s first Green Infrastructure Week (GIW).  GIW is May 13-19, 2018 and will feature a variety of tours and workshops designed to promote the benefits of green infrastructure.

Don’t miss the guided tour of Trillium Park, a tour of Ripple Farms’ vertical aquaponics facility and the Toronto East End Rain Garden Crawl!

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure Grey to Green 2018 Save $50

For more information on Green Infrastructure Week visit greytogreenconference.org/giw.

~ Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC)

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure Grey to Green 2018 Save $50

GRHC’s mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs and green walls, and other forms of living architecture through education, advocacy, professional development and celebrations of excellence.

Visit www.greenroofs.org for more information.

Contact Steven Peck, GRHC founder and president at speck@greenroofs.org and 416-971-4494 x 233.

Bee Research on Green Roofs in Asia, Europe, and North America by Michaela Hofmann and Susanne S. Renner

March 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

A Personal View, by Michaela Hofmann

When you grow up on a farm, moving into a big city like Munich (with 1.5 million inhabitants) can feel like moving into a concrete desert.  However, only at first glance.

Between building fronts and paved roads, nature has gained a foothold.  But it was only when I began working on urban bees for my doctoral research that I became aware of a huge additional green space in modern cities, namely rooftops.

 Bee Research Green Roofs Asia Europe North America Hofmann Renner

One of the nesting aids that the researchers were trying out on the ground. Such sand heaps (even much smaller ones) would be a huge help for bees. Photo by Michaela Hofmann.

It is now mandatory for many types of buildings to have green roofs, and the aesthetic and climate benefits of this type of new urban habitat are obvious and well-documented.  But are there benefits for wild bees, the topic of my research?

The literature about effects of green roofs on biodiversity is surprisingly limited.  My search for studies about wild bees on green roofs in Asia, Europe and North America revealed that so far, only 35 studies (worldwide) have been carried out, which have identified 236 species that use man-made green roofs as foraging or nesting ground.  For comparison, there are 19,700 known bee species, and Germany alone has over 570 species.

The percentage of cavity-nesting bees on roofs is higher than that on nearby ground, while the percentage of pollen specialists is lower.  Data are almost completely lacking on the reproductive success of bees on green roofs, the effect of roof age on bee diversity, and the genetic or demographic benefits of increased habitat connectivity.

I am hoping that my list of the bee species so far reported on green roofs may help in the selection and implementation of suitable soils, nesting aids, and plantings. One reason for why green roofs are so important for insects, certainly in Germany, is that they receive less fertilizer, fewer pesticides, and fewer herbicides than most other urban and agricultural land.

I think this aspect may make green roofs scientifically interesting spaces to study the relative effects of different factors that contribute to the loss of insect diversity in Central Europe.

Bee species recorded between 1992 and 2017 from green roofs in Asia, Europe, and North America, with key characteristics and open research questions

By Michaela Hofmann* and Susanne S. Renner*
Systematic Botany and Mycology, Faculty of Biology, University of Munich (LMU)
*Joint corresponding authors

Publisher’s Note: The following article was reviewed by and posted on Apidologie 49(1): 00-00. DOI: 10.1007/s13592-017-0555-x on December 19, 2017

Bee Research Green Roofs Asia Europe North America Hofmann Renner

A male Lasioglossum calceatum discovered on green roofs. Photo by Michaela Hofmann.

Abstract

Green roofs, which have become mandatory on new flat-topped buildings in many cities, increase habitat connectivity for wildlife and have contributed to a boom in urban bee keeping.  The ecological benefits or risks of green roofs for wild bees (bee species other than the domesticated honey bee, Apis mellifera), however, have not been comprehensively analyzed.

We therefore reviewed studies on insects caught on green roofs in Asia, Europe, and North America between 1992 and early 2017 and extracted information on wild bees.  The resulting species list includes 236 Apidae identified in 35 studies, with thermophilic species probably overrepresented because roofs provide warm and dry habitats.

The percentage of cavity-nesting bees on roofs is higher than on nearby ground, while the percentage of pollen-specialists is lower.  Data are almost completely lacking on the reproductive success of bees on green roofs, the effect of roof age on bee diversity, and the genetic or demographic benefits of increased habitat connectivity.  Our list of the bee species so far reported on green roofs will help in the selection and implementation of suitable soils, nesting aids, and plantings.

 Bee Research Green Roofs Asia Europe North America Hofmann Renner

Osmia caerulescens recorded on green roofs. Photo by Michaela Hofmann.

INTRODUCTION

The past 20 years have seen a dramatic increase in research on green roofs (reviewed in Bowler et al. 2010; and Blank et al. 2013), which are now mandatory on flat-topped buildings in Switzerland and a few other European countries, and supported by incentives in the United States (Brenneisen 2006; Stutz 2010).  Although there are different types of green roofs, one can generally distinguish between intensive and extensive roof greening.

Intensive green roofs usually have a soil layer of at least 15 cm and sometimes up to 60 cm or more (Mann 1994), while extensive green roofs have only a thin layer of soil (5 -15 cm), supporting mostly mosses, herbs, succulents, and grasses (Gedge and Kadas 2005).  Roofs with shallow soil layers are a difficult growing environment for plants because of moisture stress, severe drought, and full exposure to sun and wind (Schneider and Riedmiller 1992; Dunnett and Kingsbury 2008). On the other hand, extensive roofs require minimal maintenance and can be self-sustaining.

Ecosystem services from green roofs include stormwater management (Getter and Rowe 2008; Berndtsson 2010), moderation of the urban heat island effect (Takebayashi and Moriyama 2007; Tabares-Velasco et al. 2012), lower building temperatures (Oberndorfer et al. 2007), and a role as urban wildlife habitat (for reviews see Fernandez-Canero and Gonzalez-Redondo 2010; Williams et al. 2014; Gonsalves 2016).  An important aspect for the latter role is that green roofs are undisturbed by humans during most of the year, making them quiet habitats with low pesticide loads (Hui and Chan 2011).  They also increase habitat connectivity for certain arthropods (Braaker et al. 2014).

Of the many arthropods living on green roofs, bees stand out because of their role as pollinators and because urban beekeepers tend to find bee keeping “restorative and empowering” (Moore and Cost 2013).  While urban bee keeping has led to an increase of the density of honey bees in cities, the past 50 years have seen a decline in the abundance of wild bee species, attributed mostly to habitat loss and pesticides (Goulson et al. 2008), although data on change in bee abundances in urban spaces over time are scarce.  Wild bees, most of which are solitary bees, are expected to benefit from the newly created habitat on green roofs because they may be able to forage both on the ground and on green roofs, and thermophilic species might also find nesting opportunities on green roofs.

Surprisingly, however, the effects of green roofs on the diversity and abundance of wild bees in cities have received little attention despite repeated calls for bee-targeted green roof research (Zurbuchen and Müller 2012; Witt 2016).  We here provide the first list of bee species recorded from green roofs, summarize key ecological traits of these bees, and point to important open questions about the role of green roofs as habitat for solitary bees.

Bee Research Green Roofs Asia Europe North America Hofmann Renner

A female Bombus sylvarum, found on green roofs in France. Photo by Michaela Hofmann.

Online Supporting Materials

Download the 26-page Hofmann-Renner 2017 Bee Research on Green Roofs PDF of Online Supporting Materials, Tables S1 (Table S1: Overview of green roof (= GR) studies involving wild bee species assessment-), S2 (Table S2: Alphabetical list of species reported on green roofs), and References.

 Bee Research Green Roofs Asia Europe North America Hofmann Renner
More Info

For more information and to read the entire study, you may purchase the Bee species recorded between 1992 and 2017 from green roofs in Asia, Europe, and North America, with key characteristics and open research questions PDF on Apidologie for $39.95, or contact the authors below.


~ Michaela Hofmann and Susanne S. Renner, 
Systematic Botany and Mycology, Faculty of Biology, University of Munich (LMU)

Our research focuses on the systematics, phylogenetics, and evolution of plants and fungi, especially their adaptation to biotic and abiotic factors. Methods brought to bear on these questions range from light and electron microscopy to molecular cytogenetics, field work, and next generation sequencing of entire genomes to study them comparatively.

Contact Michaela Hofmann, Systematic Botany and Mycology, Faculty of Biology, University of Munich (LMU), 80638, Munich, Germany at: michaela.hofmann@campus.lmu.de.

Contact Professor Dr. Susanne Renner, Faculty of Biology, University of Munich (LMU) at: renner@lmu.de.