Projects

Nathan Phillips Square Podium Roof Garden

Nathan Phillips Square Podium Roof Garden

PLANT Architect Inc. and Perkins + Will Canada in joint venture, with Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects and Adrian Blackwell Urban Projects

Toronto, ON

This award-winning project transforms the Podium at Toronto City Hall into the largest publicly accessible green-roof garden in Canada. It fulfills the original potential of Viljo Revell’s iconic 1965 design by creating a lush metropolitan haven that supports lingering, strolling, gathering, and ceremony. Inspired by Paul Klee’s Polyphony  (1932), the garden features a complex mosaic of sedum species inter-planted with grasses, alliums, and bulbs that respond to shade and wind conditions created by the surrounding towers. The colors of the plantings progress from bright yellows and oranges in the SW to deep reds and purples in the NE. Although the initial garden layout was designed to appear rigidly geometric, the plants were carefully selected to grow over time into a more Fauvist set of drifts. The project also comprises a sparkling black granite-paved courtyard, perimeter walk with panoramic views of the city, and a large, raised tree planter that provides shade and seating. The black granite pavers are Series 3000® Black Granite 200 x 200 x 60mm. The garden and its public gathering areas narrate the site’s robust building forms, prompting visitors to experience this modernist landmark year-round.