The Kaiser Center Roof Garden is located at 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612, and is open to the public 8 am ? 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Visit the Kaiser Garden website here, and see some beautiful photos from their gallery. It is also available as a venue for weddings and other occassions, visit www.OaklandVM.Com. Read a short PDF from Lifetech here and a case study from The Cultural Landscape Foundation here. See the Kaiser Center Roof Garden along with many other case studies in the excellent book Roof Gardens: History, Design, and Construction, by Theodore Osmundson, FASLA, 1999.
Inspired by the Rockefeller Center Roof Gardens in New York City, industrialist Henry Kaiser hired landscape architect Theodore Osmundson, FASLA, to design the beautiful 3 and a half acre public park that is the Kaiser Center Roof Garden in Oakland, CA. Situated atop the 5-story Kaiser Center garage, when it opened in 1960 it was the largest roof garden in the world. The Kaiser Center Roof Garden offers stunning views of the Lake Merritt-Uptown District.
“Primary challenges in building the garden were drainage and weight. Drainage is provided by downspouts positioned at every other column to drain individual areas of the roof. Water flows down and across the gradual slope of the roof, as is the case with most large, flat roofs, and through a main downspout through five levels of the building to a storm sewer in the basement and to the city storm sewer system,” (Lifetech).