DJC Green Building Blog

Photos of Seattle’s largest green roof at the Gates Foundation garage

Posted on March 2, 2009

About a month ago (Jan. 20) I wrote a story in the DJC on the green roof at the Gates Foundation's garage. At 60,000 square feet or about 1.4 acres, it is the largest green roof in Seattle by a landslide.

The garage is a crosswalk away from Seattle Center on the east side of Fifth Avenue North. It is located next to the future Gates Foundation headquarters and is kitty-corner from EMP. The garage is technically a public-private partnership between the Gates Foundation and the city of Seattle. NBBJ was the architect. Sellen Construction was general contractor. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol was landscape architect.

The roof itself is visible from the Space Needle, a consideration in its design. The roof has five inches of soil over a layer of synthetic drainage.

Here are photos:

A worker weeds the green roof
The green roof is clearly visible from the Space Needle's deck and vice-versa
A side view photo only begins to show how massive the roof really is
View from the street
Aerial view, courtesy Sky-Pix
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Comments (6) Trackbacks (2)
  1. this comment is not to take anything at all away from the amazing design work by GGN, NBBJ, and Rana Creek, nor the construction of Sellen, nor the patronship of the Gates Foundation (all of which deserve tremendous plaudits), but I think that Seattle often neglects to celebrate its own history of sustainability.

    by calling this “seattle’s largest green roof” we are doing just that. to my knowledge, seattle’s largest green roof was also built over a parking garage, but was done so in 1976 (over 30 years ago) at Freeway Park.

  2. Nothing greener than grass. This is a very simple, yet innovative way of creating green space, urban gardens, etc.

  3. I think that this whole green roof thing is an amazing idea, something that should have been looked at a long time ago, where lots of buildings that do nothing with that part of the building and wasted space can now be utilized.

  4. Great story! I think that this sustainable green roof thing is an amazing idea, that shoul be propagated to many other roofs and houses, beacuse that should be our future and that should be our legacy to future generations.

  5. “The roof has five inches of soil over a layer of synthetic drainage.”

    What, if anything, is going to be grown on top of this roof?

  6. With global warming and pollution being ever-present topics on the news, it is important for everyone to contribute to making the world a cleaner place. One way to do this is to use ecologically friendly materials when building your home. The wave of the future is green roofing.


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