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Architecture Monday

November 2, 2015

What you are looking at is the (proposed) largest green roof in the world. 30 acres of green roof. With some 3.8 (6.1 km) of hiking trails. And an amphitheatre. And a vineyard.

But what’s more incredible to me is that what you are also looking at is the site of the Vallco shopping mall, a mall that has been, for the past 16 years that I have lived in this area, pretty much dead. A mall where a friend and I could find a space within to practice our kung fu on a rainy weekend and not be bothered or see anyone else.

This new scheme is rolling not only with hills but with superlatives: LEED Platinum construction, mixed use (residential, commercial, retail, restaurant), community parks and town squares, open events, movie theatre, ice rink.   2 million square feet all told, spread over what will become several city blocks, much sheltered under that that impressive green roof.

The current renderings show rather uninspired buildings tucked under the greenery, but there is plenty of time to work those details. And truth be told for me, if this ambitious plan comes to fruition, I’ll just be ecstatic to experience and see the effect of a green roof. There’s so much goodness available with green roofs. As are mixed use developments, the re-discovery of the traditional downtown core. Topography and typology merged.

Certainly bold. I’m excited to see what comes of this. Vallco dying no more.

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