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Having Lunch under a green Roof

3LHD Architects - Green Pavilion Restaurant - Zagreb

  • The old trees worth preserving are the basic framework of the design. © 3LHD
  • The vegetation is shifted one level higher and is used as the green roof. © 3LHD
  • The students can spend their breaks under a green canopy. © 3LHD
  • The cuts in the volume form terraces and atriums. © 3LHD
  • The design's three layers: catering and events, rooftop garden, dwelling units. © 3LHD
A one-of-a-kind university canteen is what the Croatian architectural firm 3LHD has designed for Zagreb university: a canteen with a green (leaf) roof.

Starting point for the design of the Green Pavilion Restaurant was the vegetation at Zagreb’s largest park Maksimir. Preserving the old trees was vital to 3LHD Architects. The premises were carefully examined and charted to decide which trees were worth being kept. These trees are the basic pillars in the design of the building. The building is cut or has openings at where these trees grow.

A Roof-Top Garden à la Corbusier

The design reminds of Le Corbusier’s roof-top garden in his “cinq points d’une architecture nouvelle“ essay: As a compensation for the cultivated area a large roof-top garden is set up. In addition to the area gain this roof-top garden is to have, according to Le Corbusier, a high quality of stay and shall also have dwelling functions.

3LHD Architects have deployed a similar principle for their design of the Green Pavilion Restaurant. They sort of lift up a part of the floor area and use this new level to span a multi-purpose room. Trees that were kept punch holes into this volume and thus create various atriums and terraces. The individual areas are separated from each other through filigree pole-disk constructions. The 3LHD architecture creates a flowing space, meandering through the trees and unfolding itself towards the outside in an unimpeded manner.

The trees as well as the cuts in the structure also have climate-related tasks apart from creating a certain atmosphere: Ventilation and photosynthesis done by the trees prevent from over-heating during summer and take care of an insulating effect during winter.

Canopy of Plants

The center of the first floor is the atrium. It separates the building into two areas and allows pedestrians passing through. Together with an arrangement of various plants the trees form a green canopy, roofing the way to the building. Adjacent to the atrium there is a multi-function hall on one side, a catering area on the other. The latter is divided into a self-service and an à-la-carte restaurant.

Only very few elements are built volumes. This mostly has functional reasons, such as with the rest rooms or the canteen kitchen. These rooms serve as structuring elements and prevent the various functions from flowing into each other in an uncoordinated manner.

A Village on the Roof

The roof-top garden is a second level within the design and seems to have only little to do with the architectural language on the first floor at first sight. The generous roof area is to display various types of plants to become a kind of teaching garden for the students. Twelve double apartments can be found on the area between the treetops, forming a kind of village with various spatial situations.

It’s not clear whether it will be possible for people to live here or not. In case the rooftop garden is used as a public garden as planned, it could be that the dwelling units with their large windows allow only little privacy. It is also not mentioned who is planned to live there.

Still, the design presented by 3LHDis an exciting project: The students will certainly not be kept from spending their lunch breaks and lecture-free hours in the woods.

Further German architecture in Russia...


Zagreb university, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry


3LHD Architects


Planning stage


1,600 m²

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admin's picture

Green architecture... which is ecofriendly...

10. February 2012 - 16:16
admin's picture

Que pensez-vous?
-Les 10 choses à ne surtout jamais faire quand on est aux toilettes

10. February 2012 - 16:34

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