Harvestable roof in Rotterdam

Your name Jacquie DONNELY & Paula DALY
Date 19-5-2017

The first harvestable roof garden

Place visited


Nature of the activity Company or organisation visit
Presenter Emile van Rinsum



The building is a regeneration project which has a wide variety of users which includes a beer garden, café, architects,web designers and the harvestable roof garden. In 2012 the foundation won a prize of 4 million euro.  This was used to develop the roof garden and surrounding areas.  The inspiration for the garden came from a youtube video on similar gardens in New York.   They received their prize just before a key architectural event took place in Rotterdam so they had three weeks to complete the garden.  This event helped promote the garden as there was a large number of journalists and other media interested in its concept.  The roof garden has various plants and vegetables that is tended by volunteers on a Friday.  Mondays and Tuesdays they have two groups of children each day.  The vegetables and their flowers are sold to the local restaurants.  This helps to fund the ongoing project.  The roof has been designed to support the monitoring of water.  The greatest cost of the project was to design a safe barrier to prevent accidents.  These were plant boxes made of styro foam and filled with soil.  One of the problems they encountered was the pigeons eating the produce.  At times this has been controlled by a neighbouring falcon creating a natural eco system.  He showed the specially designed carpet that prevents the roots of the plants growning into the roof and this also holds the water.

Meaningful quotations

Emile said that it is great to have a green space at work which helps you to relax.  It is important to him to spread the idea to the rest of the city and other places.

Personal opinion

The group thought it was fascinating that a garden can be developed on a roof and can grow vegetables and herbs.  It was interesting that the flower of the vegetable was more valuable than the vegetable itself.