Apr 30, 2020

URBAN NATURE – EDEN’S ROOFTOP GARDEN

When planning Kvarteret Eden, several different architects pitched their ideas for the building. A big challenge they all faced was the parking lot located in the middle of the complex. With our focus on sustainability and efforts to encourage our employees to not take the car to work, something had to be done. It had to go. Somehow. 

Most of the architects involved did the logical thing – they wanted to create a new building there. After all, our studio is big and needs the floor space. It made sense.  

But one of the architects simply drew a sharp line over the area on their blueprints. They wanted the parking lot gone too, but instead of building something on top of its remains, they went the other way: they decided that the best plan of action was to create an open area – not fill it with a new structure. With Eden’s U shape, they wanted to increase visibility and mobility between the wings and build a place where people could meet in the center. 

But one of the architects simply drew a sharp line over the area on their blueprints. They wanted the parking lot gone too.

When the Eden steering committee saw the pitch, we knew we had no other option. This was the solution we had been waiting for. The basement would be dug out, and our Forum would be built in its place. It would be difficult. “We’re only building air,” a representative from building contractor NCC noted. “But damn, it’s hard.” 

In the end there was one detail that sealed the deal – the rooftop garden on top of the Forum. 

The rooftop garden brings green nature into the urban environment Kvarteret Eden sits in. It’s an evergreen oasis, where our employees can move between the wings and have meetings in the open air. It’s outside, but it’s still private.  

In the end there was one detail that sealed the deal – the rooftop garden on top of the Forum. 

“Here we can create our own garden,” Louise Tham, Project Manager for Eden says. “We can also give some green back to the city.” 

Many of our employees have expressed that they will miss the green areas and the canal that were next to our old office. Now we’re bringing that with us to Eden and you don’t have to leave the building to get air. 

Some meeting rooms have doors opening towards the garden, which will bring extra air and sunshine during the hot summer months (yes, we do have those in Sweden). It will also serve as an extra emergency exit, if anything is to happen. 

At the time of writing, the florae are still being planted. The grass is there, so the garden is already covered in green. There will be shrubberies and birches (of the non-allergy inducing variety). The walkways are in place. It’s all coming to life. 

Some meeting rooms have doors opening towards the garden, which will bring extra air and sunshine during the hot summer months.

One challenge that had to be tackled was the cooling machine. Having to take Eden’s size into consideration, and the amount of cooling needed because of the abundance of computers at a game studio, the rooftop garden was the only space it could be placed in. The building is old, so the regular roofs simply couldn’t hold it up.  

A cooling machine isn’t very beautiful. The solution was to cover it in soundproof plating, which were painted in the same red as the bricks of the rest of the building. It’s hard to missbut with its color and the vines that are slowly beginning to grow on its exterior, it blends into the rest of the garden. 

The garden is also connected to the three atriums in the Forum, opening up for natural light to seep in. It creates a cohesive whole, a place of reflection. A place where we can sit in the sun and brainstorm the games of the future. 

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