We were stunned and delighted to stumble on this image of David Puchkoff and Eileen Stukane’s porch and meadow on the roof of their six-story coop building in New York City. Puchkoff devised it with his architect friend Lawrence Tobe as part of a plan to have the country porch he always wanted, while creating a green roof. Plants insulate the building from heat in summer and cold in winter, and they reduce storm-water runoff by absorbing rain. In addition, morning doves, woodpeckers, bees and “life” are attracted to the bucolic space; and Puchkoff’s family derives huge pleasure from it.

George Steinmetz
George Steinmetz

The cabin/porch is a sort of bulkhead over the hole punched in the ceiling of their loft for a stairway to the roof. The cabin houses a galley kitchen that opens out onto the porch with dining table and swing; it overlooks a 1200 square foot meadow planted mostly with sedums, fleshy plants that thrive in heat and drought. Said Ms. Stukane: “What I find so wonderful about a green roof, as opposed to potted plants, is you really feel like you’re looking out at unbroken land and nature…it’s restorative.

John Lei/The New York Times
John Lei/The New York Times

This 2009 video tells the thinking and process behind creating the magical space. It gets REALLY interesting after the first 20 seconds or so of TV-speak. (Video link here.) 

An article in the New York Times further details the process of creating a green roof and the many considerations of weight, root penetration and water leakage involved. It also describes and sources the materials used. (NY Times pdf here.)

The coziness and magic of a country porch IS possible without having to keep a country house…It’s got us dreaming…

The New York Times
John Lei for The New York Times

Top two photos by George Steinmetz, (via Gothamist) who discovered the rooftop airy while flying above NYC in a helicopter. 

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