Main News The Hills ... off the Ground

The Hills ... off the Ground

>The Hills ... off the Ground

Architect Rafael Viñoly and Olin Landscape Architects have unveiled designs for the world’s largest green roof-a 30-acre community park in the sky sandwiched between Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters and the spaceshiplike Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California. The enormous green roof is part of Sand Hill Property Company’s $ 3 billion renovation plan for the Vallco Shopping Mall, renamed Hills at Vallco. The ambitious project will transform the failed shopping mall into a sustainable and walkable LEED Platinum mixed-use community.

The Hills at Vallco crown jewel is without a doubt its $ 3 million 30-acre green roof, an unprecedented engineering feat that’s “at least twice as big as anything attempted before it.” The elevated community park will include 3.8 miles of walking and jogging trails along rolling hills, orchards, vineyards, meadows, organic gardens, children’s play areas, and a sanctuary for native fauna and flora. The sustainable green roof will help Hills at Vallco achieve LEED Platinum certification by growing native, drought-tolerant and climate-responsive plants; reducing the building’s energy demands with natural ventilation and insulation; improving air quality; and counteracting the heat island effect. Recycled water and recaptured rainwater will be used to irrigate the park.

On street-level, the new mixeduse neighborhood will feature a highly walkable and bikeable downtown street-grid anchored by two town squares. Parking would be primarily tucked underground and a transit center may be built at the shopping center. The 15-block street grid will be filled with 625,000 square feet of retail, 2 million square feet of office space, and 800 residential units. The family-friendly development will include plenty of restaurant and entertainment options, such as an AMC movie theater, ice rink, bowling alley, and fitness club. The town square may be used to host farmers markets and outdoor movie nights.