I've lived in a wide variety of homes over my lifetime including some large houses during family raising years. Watch the video. Does this look like low-income housing to you? I haven't seen the living accommodations but based on the rooftop plaza I'd be happy to live here.My reason for posting about it is to point out that the entire rooftop garden could have been done using basic principles long used in the interior plantscaping business.
This project cries out for the use of sub-irrigated planters (SIPs) as "growing inserts" concealed inside all of the overly large planters that were used. Professional interior plantscapers have long used SIPs inside decorative planters. It is "plumbing" that is hidden from the eyes of occupants and visitors.
The major benefits for using SIPs in a project like this would include a major increase in food production (50% or more) while saving water and reducing the weight of the garden. Sub-irrigation combined with sub-aeration allows plants to grow and thrive in much smaller planters than typically used with drench and drain irrigation (including micro irrigation).
A SIP edible garden in this size space would likely produce enough fresh food to feed the entire building if not the neighborhood.
SIPs would also offer the benefit of community involvement for every resident regardless of age or physical ability. Anyone can successfully produce food in a SIP. There is no need to be a gardener or have a mythical green thumb.We need to get this technology into the curriculums of all architecture, landscape architecture, landscape contracting, irrigation and interior design programs. At the present time its simply not available in American education. We're stuck in an out of date dirt gardening rut that fails to serve urban society.
Built by Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute in the city’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Denny Park comprises 26 studio apartments, 11 one-bedroom units, and 13 two- and three-bedroom homes. Eight of the units provide transitional housing for homeless families with children. Over half the apartments serve households making 30 percent or less of area median income (AMI); the remainder serves households making up to 60 percent of AMI. The building also has a community room, an office, a common landscaped courtyard, and 4,400 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. The project occupies an urban infill site near the park of the same name and is served by public transportation.
We featured Denny Park at a press event back when Green Communities was first announced, but more recently I was reminded of the project by a new video highlighting seasonal maintenance on its green-roofing features, which include planters that capture and filter stormwater, minimizing runoff, while also providing both ornamental and edible urban gardens. These were designed by SvR Design Company, the project's landscape architects whose expertise includes advanced low-impact sustainability. SvR's staff volunteered their time to the spring maintenance and are featured in the video, explaining as they work.