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Disused helipad transformed into Foro Ciel rooftop garden and office


April 26, 2013

The new roof, re-named "Foro Ciel," is now home to some species of cacti and a few small orchards (Credit: Jaime Navarro; Courtesy Rojkind Arquitectos)

The new roof, re-named "Foro Ciel," is now home to some species of cacti and a few small orchards (Credit: Jaime Navarro; Courtesy Rojkind Arquitectos)

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When Coca-Cola found itself with an unused helipad on top of its building in Mexico City, the simplest thing to do would have been to strip everything down, leaving a bare rooftop. But that would have been a waste of usable real estate, not to mention just plain dull. Instead, the company enlisted the help of design teams at Rojkind Arquitectos and AGENT to convert the area into a sustainable rooftop garden and customizable office space.

The new roof, named "Foro Ciel," is now covered in a variety of local vegetation, including some species of cacti and a few small orchards. All of the plants are partly maintained through a rainwater collection and irrigation system that was built onto the existing structure using recycled materials. According to the designers, this system will recycle 4,872 liters of rainwater over the course of a year, and the resulting vegetation will collect 81 kg (179 lb) of airborne pollutants and CO2.

A wooden walking path with a few benches has also been implemented to turn the space into a pleasant spot for workers to relax.

Adding a garden to the roof would have been a welcome enough change to the building, but the designers also adapted the area below the former helipad into an eco-friendly office. Using the structural elements already in place along with low-impact materials, the team constructed an open space filled with locally-made furniture that's designed to be easily rearranged into different configurations. The idea is to provide a co-working office that can be customized as needed for different groups and projects.

Windows surrounding the office provide natural lighting during daylight working hours, with LED-based lights in place for later on. A series of solar panels are spread throughout the rooftop to generate a reported 3,840 kW of electricity per year, which the designers say will be enough to meet the office's energy requirements.

Coca-Cola, Rojkind Arquitectos and AGENT, have managed to transform a neglected 500 square-meter (5,382 square-foot) roof space into a unique green oasis. Foro Ciel's office space is currently home to Transformada Ciel, a program that helps community-centered projects in Latin America find funding and support.

Source: Rojkind Arquitectos

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

"Foro Ciel" doesn't really make sense. Shouldn't it be Foro Cielo, the sky forum?

Bravo on the reuse and recycling of a disused structure. Every building should have a green roof.


I think that is a way cool and very green idea. I think it could be an inspiration for other roof tops.

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