In Fukuoka City in Japan, they have an amazing building called “ACROS Fukuoka” with two very distinct sides: one side looks like a conventional office building with glass walls, but on the other side there is a huge terraced roof that merges with a park.
The garden terraces, which reach up to about 60 meters above the ground, contain some 35,000 plants representing 76 species. A huge semicircular atrium and the triangular lobby provide contrast to the greenery, in this space is a symphony hall, offices and shops.
The building was also featured in a book about green roofs.
The Arcos building was constructed on the last remaining green space in the city center, so the architects, Emilio Ambasz & Associates, created a design to preserve the green space as much as possible, while still fitting in a large office building. In addition, a green roof reduces the energy consumption of a building, because it keeps the temperature inside more constant and comfortable. Green roofs also capture rainwater runoff, and support the life of insects and birds.
The building is a success in Japan, its terraced south facade utilized by many in the area for exercise and rest, affording views of the city and the harbor beyond. Unfortunately it has received little press overseas, especially in the United States.