Urban Greenery: Exploring the Benefits of Biophilic Design & Rooftop Gardens

Urban Greenery: Exploring the Benefits of Biophilic Design & Rooftop Gardens

Over the past fifty years, architects, developers and builders have become increasingly focused on the inclusion of biophilic design elements into projects, promoting an innate connection between people and nature that is a major part of our core values.

  • By Gamuda Land
  • 19 December 2023

At Gamuda Land, we are continuously inspired by incredible projects around the globe that continue to take biophilic design integration to greater heights.


Take a look at three global projects that are embracing the philosophy:

ARCOS Fukuoka Building, Japan

In 1995, the Tenjin area of Fukuoka City in Japan welcomed an ambitious and refreshing project, the ARCOS Fukuoka building.

Designed by renowned architect, Emilio Ambasz, the multi-purpose space, also known as the Prefectural International Hall, features an unrivalled level of terraced green roofs that climb its façade and create a seamless connection to the natural world.

The project’s overarching goal is the lessening of heat islands in the dense downtown districts of the city where increased population growth meant a rapid decline in available greenspace.


High Line Park, New York

On the western side of Manhattan, a 2.33km long former railway line has been turned into an elevated nature trail that features over 500+ species of plants and trees.

High Line Park is the result of a collaboration between interdisciplinary design studio, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Landscape Architects and Urban Design Practice, Field Operations and Dutch Garden Designer, Piet Oudolf.

Maintained and operated by the Friends of High Line, a not-for-profit that played an integral role in its creation, the space offers a communal greenspace home to world-class artwork, public programs, and community initiatives.


Waldspirale, Germany

In the 1990’s a residential building was constructed in Darmstadt, a city near Frankfurt in Southwest Germany. The complex was named Waldspirale, which when translated to English means ‘Forest Spiral,’ a direct reflection of the project’s unique diagonal roof planted with grass, shrubs, flowers and an array of trees.

The project was designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, known for his eclectic style and use of curved, spiral forms, and was planned and implemented by architect, Heinz M. Springmann.


Biophilic Design in Gamuda Land’s Projects

It’s projects like these that offer our local team a great source of inspiration and cement our focus on creating connections between our residents and nature in all our projects.

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The Canopy on Normanby

Here in Australia, our flagship development, The Canopy on Normanby will work in collaboration with the City of Port Phillip to host a new 3000 sqm public park that will run adjacent to the project.

Our goal is to assist in the preservation and restoration of the area’s biodiversity through the re-introduction of 6,000 native species of trees and plants. A biophilic spine will house a series of vertical gardens that culminate in a level 8 podium and eco-rooftop deck, inspired by the quintessential Australian backyard.

This park will also contribute to the Melbourne Pollinator Corridor, an 8km long wildlife corridor by The Heart Gardening Project which runs through the City of Melbourne and aims to attract native bees and pollinating insects by planting 18,000 indigenous plants in 200 gardens.



Continuing this focus, our latest project, Fareham, located in the heart of St Kilda will be home to two distinct communal greenspaces, the rooftop terrace and the podium terrace.

These spaces will be adorned with drought-resistant flora to offer durable and resilient greenspaces all year round.

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Gamuda Gardens

In Sungai Buloh North, Selangor, Malaysia lies Gamuda Gardens, an 810-acre development that encapsulates our values of biophilic design and placemaking.

Set amidst natural undulating terrain with rolling hills, the project is home to 5 cascading lakes, a 50-acre pet-friendly Central Park and is supported by a 68-acre Gamuda Gardens City Centre home to a wealth of entertainment and daily necessities for residents.

The Benefits of Rooftop Gardens

On top of its visual appeal, the addition of greenspaces in projects has a number of benefits, from personal health and well-being to environmental impact.


Reducing the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect’

In many densely populated cities across the world, a phenomenon known as ‘urban heat islands’ occurs when heat-retaining materials such as those found in pavements and buildings are used in excessive amounts. This limits the amount of natural land cover, resulting in average daily temperature increases of approximately 1-3 degrees.

The incorporation of greenspaces can help balance temperatures within these dense areas by providing shade and cooling the air through a process known as evapotranspiration. This process sees plants and vegetation absorb water through their roots, cooling surrounding areas by releasing water vapour into the air.


Health & Wellbeing

Research has shown proven benefits that exposure to nature has on the health and well-being of people. In particular, strong, regular connections to nature have been shown to have a positive impact on both mental and physical health including:

  • Reduction of blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Release of muscle tension.
  • Lowering the production of stress hormones.
  • Reduction of fatigue levels.
  • Improvement in focus and performance.

We continue to grow and learn new benefits associated with the natural world and find new ways that we can continue to implement these into our projects across the world.


Discover more about our biophilic design values, and our local and international projects here.

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