Andrew Michler

1800's Puerto Rican Home Revisioned as Green-Roofed Urban Space

by , 07/15/10

green renovation, San Juan Puerto Rico House, Puerto Rico Green home, Green roof, urban restoration, Urban Farming, green roof urban design, Urban Environment, NYT home profile

Perhaps the greenest home is the one already built. A couple in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico took this to heart when they renovated an abandoned early eightieth-century home and transformed it into an urban garden. This 9000 square foot building was carefully upgraded and preserved with a light modernist touch. The couple had very different ideas for a home so they compromised by doing both — the husband has a large vegetable garden and green roof, while the wife enjoys the home’s location in the heart of town and runs her arts nonprofit on-site.

green renovation, San Juan Puerto Rico House, Puerto Rico Green home, Green roof, urban restoration, Urban Farming, green roof urban design, Urban Environment, NYT home profile

The colonial building was boarded up for decades, so the couple had major restoration work to do. Doing the design work themselves, they kept the original floor plan intact — touches like freshly-plastered walls and polished concrete floors harmonize the interior. The large flat roof was converted to a vegetable garden and grassy area. In the dense downtown neighborhood this small patch of green gives the family food and a place to be outside, above the bustling and colorful neighborhood. The list of produce they acquire from their urban garden is impressive — green beans, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet potatoes, scallions, rosemary, basil and other herbs.

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2 Comments

  1. 2gogreen February 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    As a PR resident, I long to have my own Green roof. How may I know who did this wonderful job?

  2. klzylst July 22, 2010 at 11:27 am

    As both a preservationist and promoter of sustainable design it is always encouraging and exciting to see renovations that incorporate green prinicples while retaining the historic integrity of both the interior and exterior. Props to this couple!

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