Atop a luxury home in Westmount, Montréal, MYTO Design d’espaces vivants created a biodiverse green rooftop dedicated to wellness. It’s easy to see why the elegant Clarke Terrace has just been named a winner in the Residential Patio and Landscaping category for Grands Prix du Design 2020.

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tall grasses on green roof

Designer Martine Brisson and landscape architect Roxanne Miller named their practice MYTO Design after the essential units of human life. Life-giving mitochondria are part of the energy production apparatus found in nearly every living cell. Just as plant and animal cells intelligently integrate with their environment, this project seamlessly harmonizes an outdoor living space with the surrounding landscape.

Related: Modular home in Delft boasts low-carbon timber build and a green roof

lush green roof on black home
sofa on wood patio

Lucky visitors to this sensory green roof can relax on custom ipe wood planters and comfortable seating to enjoy a spectacular view of Montreal’s downtown, framed by local wildflowers in pinks, purples and blues. In the sturdy planters and within the green terrace, Miller opted for perennials and indigenous species to cut down on garden maintenance. The planters, built by Atelier Papineau, are even insulated to protect the plants.

tall grasses on roof near wall of glass
closeup of tall grasses on a roof

Miller carefully chose an array of suitable species to create a biodiverse roof with a harmonious palette and long flowering season. “Wild grasses are very important and present, Miscanthus, Calamagrostis, Hordeum jubatum and so on,” Miller told Inhabitat. “One of my favorites in the green roof section is the creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis). The Sempervivum are always beautiful.” Often known as liveforever or houseleeks, these striking, succulent rosettes store plenty of water in their leaves and are extremely hardy.

seating on wooden rooftop terrace
rooftop grasses lit up at night

The 1,965-square-foot living roof was completed in summer 2018. Miller spoke of the benefits of such spaces for all. “Greening beautiful spaces is always meaningful and brings added benefits like water retention, biodiversity or becoming an accessible green space for urban residents. They should be on every building!”

tall grasses on a rooftop overlooking hilly landscape

A streamlined glass parapet encloses the perimeter to ensure safe enjoyment of the garden and uninterrupted access to the views. Brisson and Miller achieved subtle lighting for the roof with fixtures from Jardin d’ombre et lumière. As the evening turns the sky from sunset to deep blue, the space takes on a warm, intimate and relaxing ambiance. The Clarke Terrace refines our expectations for underused roof space with a truly enjoyable green roof.

+ MYTO design d’espaces vivants inc.

Photography by Pierre Béland via v2com