[Mid-Term] "Midori Yane" A Japanese-inspired tiled green roof by Amanda Loomis, Crystal Morrison and Jennifer Purcell
Project description: As an experiment in the combination of landscape, architecture, and product design this green roof addresses the need for a modular integral roofing and planting unit. This horticultural building system was inspired by Japanese style ceramic tile roofing systems.
Inspiration: Japanese roofs: the artistic waves of interlocking tiles opened the design opportunities to modification for planting materials.
By taking an artistic approach to the project, our focus is to create a beautiful and functional roof that is also sustainable.
Research: The origin of clay roofing tile can be traced independently to two different parts of the world: China, during the Neolithic Age, beginning around 10,000 B.C.; and the Middle East, a short time later. From these regions, the use of clay tile spread throughout Asia and Europe. Not only the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, but also the Greeks and Romans roofed their buildings with clay tiles, and adaptations of their practice continue in Europe to the present. European settlers brought this roofing tradition to America where it was established in many places by the 17th century.
Ceramic tile roofs can have a life of 100 years and have been used and reused for centuries. Research shows that tile roofs retain heat in cooler temperatures as well as staying cool in extreme heat better than traditional asphalt tiles widely used in the U.S.
Clay roof tiles have fireproof qualities, are durable and require little maintenance. Due to these benefits, ceramic tile roofs which are an ancient sustainable product are making a comeback in the U.S.
The first tile-making machine was patented in the 1870’s. There are large production factories all over the United States. Some of the first were located in Akron, Ohio and Baltimore, Maryland. In the 18th Century, S shaped, also called pan tiles, were widely used in the United States. The tiles are hung on roofing laths by a ridge. They are connected by peg holes, nails, screws and often, mortar at the ridgelines. We experimented with various forms for the tile such as Italian, Spanish and Japanese style tile. We sketched various forms as shown in these images:
We were most interested in Japanese style roof tiles. Semicircle ridge tiles that are often decorative, cap the end of the clay roof. Decorative end cap- Antique Japanese ceramic roof tile decorated with swirling comma pattern.
Roof tiles are called kawara in Japan, where they are used not only to protect a home from the elements but are also as important architectural ornaments. Roof eaves are sometimes decorated with special pendant tiles called nokimarugawara which feature a circular disk attached to a half-round tile. The disk (gatou) will often feature an image such as a household seal (kamon) or an image thought to act as a protective charm. Decorative roof tiles often feature images associated with water, as such images were once thought to provide protection against the dangers of fire. An especially important water symbol was the swirling tomoe pattern. The basic tomoe design originated in China and has been used in Japan since at least the Yayoi period (300 B.C.-300 A.D.). The pattern always includes one or more comma-shaped swirls oriented in a right or left facing pattern. This image is thought to symbolize water as the Chinese character used to write this name translates as either “whirlpool” or “eddy”. The tomoe design has spiritual connotations as well and is a frequently seen on religious implements and used with temple and shrine architecture.
The field tiles will have a cupped structure inspired by the ginkgo leaf. The cup will hold a growing medium to support plant growth. The approximate depth of soil medium will be 3 1/2”. We were inspired by the form of the fan shaped gingko leaf and plan to imprint the pattern of the leaf on the fan shaped cup.
A pneumatic clay tile extruder will be used to create the roofing pieces. There will be 4 distinct tiles to comprise the roof. Left gable, right gable, field tile and eave tiles. Each tile will need two dies creating two separate pieces which will then be put together then fired as one roofing tile.
An extra step will need to be done to the field tiles and the eave tiles. The field tiles will need an additional piece added to hold the growing medium and plants. The eave tile pieces will be the combination of the field tile with a front cap piece added as well as a final circular artistic tile.
Installation: An additional roof space will be constructed off of the side of the storage container at the Courthouse Garden. This roof will be built using 2x6's, plywood, lag screws and nailing plates. The slope of the roof will be 4/12, making it a relatively low-slope roof. The roof construction can be seen in the following drawings: Traditional ceramic tile roof installation processes will be used to install the roof. 30# felt roofing material will be installed over the plywood roof. Tiles will be fit together and be fastened to the roof using screws.
Soil medium will be a 80/20 mix of perlite and loam. The ginkgo shaped soil pockets will be lined with nonwoven fiber, then filled with the soil medium. The following plants will be used:
Our construction schedule is front-loaded with tile fabrication due to kiln availability. The kiln will be available to us until the last two weeks of class. So in order to have time to create test tiles and produce the number of tiles needed, we will first create the tiles and then construct the roof. We have been fairly conservative in estimating our time for fabrication, which has given us some room to shift deadlines as needed. A tentative project timeline is as follows:
Materials: Our materials are very easy to come by and have been sourced locally. Our materials include: -2x6 lumber from reclaimed cedar decking on site -30# roofing felt from BRING! Or Jerry's -Plywood onsite -Fasteners (nailing plates, tile screws, lag screws) from Jerry's ($10) -2'x2' Aluminum plate for extruder templates from Coyote Steel ($29) -Ceramic clay from Ceramics department (approx. $40) -Perlite -Soil -Plants from local cuttings and purchased from Grey's as needed -nonwoven fiber