Dwell is a glamorous San Francisco-based magazine about modern domestic architecture, and it’s no exaggeration to say that Dwell influences the design agenda for forward-thinking homeowners and residential architects nationwide.
In its current issue, Dwell celebrates Neighbor Peter and Neighbor Grace’s Bernal Heights home on Ellsworth, which features lovely landscaped gardens in the back yard and… on the roof:
Bernal Hill, one of San Francisco’s sunniest and least-developed spots, is a bare peak rising some 450 feet out of an otherwise densely packed neighborhood of charming turn-of-the-20th-century homes and shops. But whereas many manmade gardens are watered to be verdant year-round, Bernal Hill’s winter green and summer brown are a refreshing marker of the seasons. And that is exactly what designer Peter Liang desired atop his recently remodeled 2,000-square-foot home on the hill’s southern slope.
Now his 580-square-foot green roof is like a piece of the hill; its indigenous vegetation—seeded by birds and wind—is irrigated only by seasonal rain and dew.
Purple thistles, California poppies, clover, and dandelions have all taken root in the roughly ten-inch-deep, lightweight humus and grape-husk soil. Liang has even handcrafted naturalistic undulations in the roof’s terrain to serve as shields against night breezes for when he and his wife, Grace, slip up through a ceiling hatch to sleep under the stars.
PHOTOS: Ike Ideani for Dwell