Ian Barker Gardens (IBG) has designed and constructed a rooftop garden for the headquarters of Pentana Solutions in Melbourne.
The plant-filled space sits five storeys above ground, and encourages staff to step away from their desks and out into nature.
Given its location on a rooftop, the garden’s design and construction had to address several key challenges. The most obvious of these was getting the required materials up to the fifth level of a building. This challenge was further compounded by the inclusion of a car in the design of the rooftop landscape. The car was to be positioned in a bed of naturalistic planting in the north-east corner of the garden, but first, it needed to get there. With careful planning and the help of a crane, this was able to be done.
Another challenge was creating an outdoors space that could be used in all weather conditions. A steel pergola was installed on the north-side of the building’s rooftop, fitted with a retractable awning that can be used to cover a seated area when the skies require it. A giant chessboard was created in the space to entice staff outdoors even in the less-than-enticing Melbourne winter.
IBG needed to create a garden that could float above the membrane. This was addressed with Elmich’s VersiPave: a lightweight, high-strength plastic paver support that provides easy access to waterproofing membranes and services when required.
Lastly, it was important to construct a garden where it wasn’t necessary to attach items to the membrane. Attaching items would cause punctures and potentially result in leaking through to the offices below. This risk was mitigated with 1200 x 600mm pavers and planter boxes weighed down with bricks. This ensures planters can’t be swept over the side of the building, no matter how strong the wind.
Further features of the garden include synthetic turf, a timber deck with block seating, a timber walkway edged with bench seats, and naturalistic plants in copper tones.
IBG will be responsible for maintaining the garden into the future.
GRANITE WORKS, PAVERS IN SALT N PEPPER (1200 x 600MM)
TIMBER DECKING, SEATING AND SCREENS
MELBOURNE AWNING CENTRE, STEEL PERGOLA WITH AWNING
NATURALISTIC PLANTS IN COPPER TONE