Situated in the heart of downtown Toronto, Cecconi Simone's Green Roof & Garden provides a breath of fresh air amidst the steel and glass forest of the city. Operated by Elaine Cecconi and Anna Simone, the Toronto-based firm received bronze status in the landscape category of the Globe and Mail Design Exchange Awards in 2007 with this project.
As a hybrid of contemporary design with traditional elements, this space is an idiosyncratic combination of both minimalist and complex techniques.
This space is mainly divided into two sections; the lower patio level with lounging/gathering space and a roof garden elevated to the back, with a reflective pond. It’s both fascinating and impressive how using just basic elements such as light sources and foliage, the arrangement creates such a visually interesting play on the wooden siding backdrop.
The lower section is an elevated platform composed of elongated wood panels, separated by grass-filled strips between the sliding.
Incandescent light fixtures were installed deliberately for their colour effect on the complimentary wood sliding encroaching the seating area. To accent the horizontal lines created by the siding, Cecconi Simone designers have supplemented tall, twig-like vegetation for its vertical form. In my opinion, the accent works very nicely.
The carport roof above is the vertical peak of the synergetic installation, featuring in it is a small reflective pond with orange tiling as a centrepiece, and a combination of stone platforms and boxwood hedges to surround and draw attention to the composition. The colour of the tiling makes for an extremely effective contrast that both independently stands out, but also effectively references the tanned orange colour of the rest of the wooden exterior.
As roof gardens require a special installation system to ensure prevention of leakage or dehydration of the plant life, FD 40-E elements were installed, along with an ISM-50 protective mat, and a root-resistant waterproofed construction of the roof.
Personally, I believe the level of sophistication that was included in the creation of this project has rightfully earned its place as a finalist for the awards it has received.
For more great design like this, visit Cecconi Simone.
Photography by Joy von Tiedemann.
Researched and Written by Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University.