Van Unnik's sustainable "rooftop garden"

Utrecht Science Park gets temporary terrace

Daktuin Van Unnik-laagbouw, foto DUB
The "rooftop garden" where the Van Unnik low-rise building used to be. Photo: DUB

Van Unnik's low-rise building was demolished in 2021. Since then, fences have surrounded the piece of vacant land next to Casa Confetti.  Utrecht University was looking for a good temporary use of the space since it is going to take some time until all renovation works are done. The choice for a terrace was oriented by a survey of over 150 employees and students.

UU is calling the spot a rooftop garden, despite its one-metre height. The space, which is wheelchair accessible and equipped with picnic benches, responds to the call for more greenery and recreation at the science park. The entrances are on the side of Casa Confetti and the terrace is freely accessible to everyone.

The rooftop garden is completely circular, according to the university. The materials used are second-hand and will be reused someplace else on campus when the time comes to give the area its definitive look. In addition, the plants are easy to move and some of the furniture is made of grass and recycled plastic. Last but not least, there will soon be a canopy made of wood no longer in use at the Botanical Gardens.

The high-rise part of Van Unnik is being renovated to house the university's administration and the Faculty of Social Sciences. By then, there will be a square where the current rooftop garden is. It is not yet known when exactly this is going to happen, but it will surely take a few years.