Menu

Lush Rooftop Gardens of the Midwest

City Hall Chicago Rooftop GardenCity Hall (looking Northeast) – Chicago, IL July 2011

The way I look at the world is that of a “good” place (rather than evil), and the notion of human presence, and our impact – or imposition on our environment runs throughout my photographs. My mission as an artist is to make visually interesting pictures about what a wonderful world we live in, so others might also have similar response, and possibly contribute to a more sustainable and better world. Positive and profound change comes about when groups of people work together to implement their vision. My hope is that my pictures inspire others to think positive and share this vision.

I began the series “Rooftop” in 2009, which addresses what some urban pioneers are doing to mitigate the consequences of non-renewable consumption. “Rooftop” brings attention living architecture, and the positive effects it has on global warming by countering the heat island effect, storm water control, and our carbon footprint. I juxtapose busy skylines, representing our growth at the expense of natural resources, alongside adjacent buildings with plantings, which become elevated landscapes representing the judicious reintroduction and growth of nature.

I like to think that we do things instinctively, and as we find solutions to the simple things like landscaping our surroundings with a garden, we “stumble” upon and discover solutions to serve greater purpose, such as cleaning up the environment or dealing with storm water control, or just insulating our structures with green roofs. This integration and understanding for living things is where true sustainability begins. Living architecture is positive proof of this, which defines our grace and ingenuity by integrating architecture and the landscape with infrastructure and the environment.—Brad Temkin

Brad Temkin is a Chicago-based photographer working with a large format camera and film. He’s been documenting the human impact on the contemporary landscape for most of his career. Brad believes that in spite of us, humanity continues to stumble into grace. His photographs celebrate this by focusing on what we leave behind, be they objects in the landscape or the integration of architecture with the landscape / infrastructure with the environment.

City Hall Chicago rooftop garden (looking North) - Chicago, IL May 2009City Hall (looking North) – Chicago, IL May 2009

rooftop garden Tyner Center (looking Southeast) - Glenview, IL August 2012Tyner Center (looking Southeast) – Glenview, IL August 2012

rooftop garden Northwestern Memorial Hospital (looking West) - Chicago, IL May 2010 Northwestern Memorial Hospital (looking West) – Chicago, IL May 2010

Rooftop garden Highmark Building (looking West) - Pittsburgh, PA May 2011Highmark Building (looking West) – Pittsburgh, PA May 2011

rooftop garden Mellon Institute (looking North) - Pittsburgh, PA May 2011Mellon Institute (looking North) – Pittsburgh, PA May 2011

Lurie Children's Memorial Hospital (looking Southwest) - Chicago, IL May 2012 rooftop gardenLurie Children’s Memorial Hospital (looking Southwest) – Chicago, IL May 2012

rooftop garden Fire House # 98 (looking Southwest) - Chicago, IL July 2009Fire House # 98 (looking Southwest) – Chicago, IL July 2009

rooftop garden Randolph Street (looking North) - Chicago, IL May 2010Randolph Street (looking North) – Chicago, IL May 2010