The World's Largest Green Roof Might Be on Top of a Silicon Valley Shopping Mall


Shopping malls tend to be an urbanist’s nightmare. They’re giant fortresses surrounded by acres of parking and totally cut off from the city. But a new development in Cupertino, Calif.—the heart of Silicon Valley—proposes turning a shopping mall into something a little more natural. The property company that recently bought the city’s Vallco Shopping Mall wants to turn it into a place where you can live, work, and shop under the largest green roof in the world. 

The $3 billion proposal includes a $300 million rooftop park that would span more than 30 acres on top of and around the mall. Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and OLIN, a leading landscape architecture firm, the green space would include orchards, gardens, vineyards, a running trail, and playgrounds. The rooftop, adorned with drought-resistant native plants, would also feature a rainwater collection system and recycled water irrigation system that would make it more sustainable to operate in dry California. Hanging out at the mall suddenly could mean going for a jog or having a picnic in the grass.

This gives mall walking a whole new meaning. Could we make all of America’s dead malls into beautiful multi-million-dollar community parks, please? 

It has yet to be approved by the city, so it’s possible that this is all a beautiful fantasy. But we can dream, can’t we? Plus, if approved, the developers have vowed to build a new 700-student elementary school, so it might be a pretty sweet deal for the city.

[h/t: Jetson Green]

All images via the Hills at Vallco