ROOFSCAPES is a startup from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. The company was founded in 2020 by MIT graduate students Tim Cousin, Olivier Faber, and Eytan Levi with the mission of transforming untapped rooftops into green roofs as a way to mitigate climate change and to provide new outdoor spaces in cities.
Tim, Olivier, and Eytan met back in 2014 as they started architecture school together at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. After further studies between ETH Zurich and the University of Tokyo, they worked in various architectural practices in the UK, Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, India, and Australia, including Junya Ishigami in Tokyo, Herzog de Meuron in Basel, COBE in Copenhagen, and RMA in Mumbai. Tim, Olivier, and Eytan decided to finish their education together at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where they are currently graduate students between the Department of Architecture and the Center for Real Estate.
In the spring of 2019, ROOFSCAPES incubated at the MIT DesignX accelerator, and was awarded First Prize upon completion. This year, ROOFSCAPES will build a first pilot project over a roof in Paris.
Ever since we started architecture school, we’ve been interested in tactical urbanism as a strategy to work within the existing fabric of cities. We believe that architects should be responsible for creating bottom-up frameworks to include everyone’s contribution to the built environment. In the summer of 2018, we spent a week with our friend Louis de Saint-Affrique brainstorming a project that would tackle untapped spaces in Paris. The idea for green rooftops over pitched roofs was born, and it has evolved into Roofscapes.
Through Roofscapes, we want to transform existing cities for the environmental, social and economic changes of the 21st century. We envision a time when real estate development and architectural production will need to work with what’s already built. We believe that climate change will best be mitigated by anticipating its impact through resilience strategies, such as green roofs over surfaces that absorb solar heat. We wish to question and reconfigure the social hierarchies of inherited spatial structures, for instance with green roof networks creating new datums in urban skylines. We thus imagine economic development at the service of environmental and social needs. We hope that you will join us in our journey.