Stuff that matters

An old courthouse in London is set to host one of the largest rooftop forests in all of Europe, as it welcomes 125 trees and more than 10,000 plants in total.

Access to the public will be provided to those seeking to immerse themselves in this forest in the sky, and green-thumbed Londoners will have access to gardening sheds and beds to grow in, as well as a community seed bank and barn.

Roots in The Sky as it’s being called, was given to Fabrix, an architecture, design, and technology company that looks to breathe new life into underused urban spaces.

The rooftop area will include a bar, swimming pool, and private terraces for the offices below. The greenery will benefit from a passive water capture and irrigation system, and hopefully can reintroduce wildlife to the city.

From the top of the 1.4 acre urban woodland, visitors will have an exceptional view of The Shard and the whole London skyline.

To support the 1,300 tons of soil to be loaded onto the rooftop, the design team have created a hybrid structure of steel and cross laminated timbers.

The building itself is called “Blackfriars Crown Court,” and used to hear court cases on Pocock Street, in Southwark, before being sold off by the government. In terms of the exterior it’s a brutalist bureaucrat’s dream of grey concrete and brick.

Roots in the Sky will also be turning that hard exterior and the court rooms inside, into a modern, welcoming office space totaling almost 400,000 square feet on 7 floors.

Work is set to begin in January.