There are green roofs … and then there are really green roofs.
Check out the lush and lovely Meera House located on Sentosa, a super-developed (Golf courses! Theme parks! Five-star hotels!) resort island in Singapore. Designed by Guz Architects, the vegetation-covered, naturally ventilated abode with a striking, curvaceous roof was built not so much to embrace Mother Nature but to ward off peeping toms in a tightly packed residential sub-division. Explain the architects:
The plots on the island of Sentosa are not large and neighboring buildings are built close to the sides of each house. Thus our strategy was to build a solid wall to each side neighbor to provide privacy where possible, while creating a central light and stair well which would funnel the sea breeze through the centre of the building. The front and rear of the building meanwhile, terrace back allowing each storey to have visual or actual access to greenery. The intention was to try to allow each roof garden provided a base for the storey above allowing the layered effect to make each storey feel like it was a single storey dwelling sitting in a garden ... as much as we could do in the close confines of Sentosa Island and with such a large building!
Although the Meera House is certainly lovely to look at — I'd classify this one as "green roof porn" — I can’t help but think of something that the enthusiastic gang over at Inhabitat failed to bring up: the eco-effects of maintaining a luxury home that's almost completely shrouded in pristinely manicured greenery. Since this is Singapore and not Southern California that we're dealing with, I’m guessing natural irrigation does play a significant part in keeping the home gorgeously grassy but still, look at it … the Meera House’s owners must employ quite the army of landscapers to tame that thirsty beast. Here's hoping they keep the use of agricultural chemicals to a minimum.