Poly Garden City @ SHEDIA Magazine

Playgrounds, gardens, sports areas.
The roofs of apartment buildings can become a true above-ground city, with multiple benefits for the environment and our socializing.

Interview, Spyros Zonakis @ SHEDIA magazine 111, Athens, May 2023


“In France, the law requires new commercial buildings to have green roofs, while in Germany new buildings must have green roofs. In Amsterdam, Roof Top Revolution raises money not only from tenants of the building who want to green their rooftops but also from people in the neighbourhood, on the grounds that it improves the climate of the whole area. The City of Berlin provides financial incentives to green the terraces. Italian architects are building hanging gardens, planting trees on the balconies, which are watered by recycling the water used in the building. Of course, these models could also be applied in Greece and we need them even more,” says architect Elizabeth Sikiaridi, creator of the Hybrid Space Lab Think Tank and Design Lab, and the initiator of Poly Garden City, a project for greening the Athens apartment buildings.

“Poly Garden City was developed by Hybrid Space Lab at the invitation of the Municipality of Athens as a continuation of the workshop “Apartment Buildings as Incubators” that we curated in 2014. Poly Garden City, which we are continuing, sees the entire city as a canvas for greening: vegetable patches on balconies, gardens on the roofs, herbs and aromatic plants on the roofs, lively green rooftops. By fusing apartment buildings with gardens, we can create “poly-gardens”!

The Greek apartment building with its balconies and horizontal roofs has the structure ready to receive nature. We may hate our apartment buildings, but as a typology they have many advantages. They have a front façade and a rear façade that we usually ignore, neglect, that no one cares for, but that can function as a green community space.”

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