The first of its kind

The most ambitious part of the building is the Whinsill Grassland Roof, it has never been tried before.

Built to mimic the shapes and geology of The Great Whin Sill, the grass roof is planted in a substrate inspired by the surrounding landscape. Whin makes thin, poor soil, so plants have to be able to cope with tough conditions this means that the area gives a home to a unique community of plants and our grass roof reflects this.

We tested different soil mixtures and planting techniques for the roof in a number of trial plots. All the seed we’ve used has come from Northumberland and Cumbria, so we know the plants growing on the roof are local.