MA Thesis in Historical and Sustainable Architecture from New York University

I’ve just finished my MA program at New York University in Historical and Sustainable Architecture.  The focus of the program is Adaptive Reuse, urban regeneration, and sustainability.  I was fortunate enough to be able to study in London.  My time there was all too brief but it has opened my eyes to the possibilities of adaptive reuse and just how far behind America is in such matters (among others, but we”ll leave that discussion for another time).  What gives London its charm, in my opinion, is its architecture: the rows of Georgian terraces, the 18th c. grand houses, the wibbly wobbly wood-framed Tudor houses, the London Square.  America will never be like Europe because the old must always make way for the new.  And there are no laws to stop it.

 

I decided to write my thesis on roof gardens in London.  Essentially, green roofs are London’s elixer.  Any problem London has can be solved through ecoroofs.  The thesis was much too short to actually say that, so I just focused on public space, recreational space, farming and allotments, and the economic and environmental benefits green roofs will have on the city.  London should embrace its long love affair with gardens and create agressive legislation that will create more green roofs.  Copenhagen, for example, has just passed a mandatory policy that requires every new building with a roof pitch of less than 30 degrees, be vegetated. (read the article).  The policies the Lord Mayor are making, such as his spray adhesive on the roadways for the pollution to stick to instead of expanding the Congestion Charge Zone or Low Emission Zone, which he nixed, as a solution to the air quality issue really begs the question, how did he get elected?  That aside, I think London has the potential of becoming a Vertical Garden City and can be a example to which other cities can look.

London Roof Gardens

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