The Bookshelf: Living Roofs


“Rooftop gardens and rooftop terraces let you reach for the stars and the only limit on what you can design in your exclusive oasis is your imagination.” Ashley Penn, an English Landscape designer and architect, began his exploration of gardens at the ripe age of 16. Through hard work and determination, Penn was recognized by the prestigious Turner Prize board for Innovation in Design as a young professional and since has continued his studies and collaborations in creating unique exterior spaces.

Mill Valley Cabins, Mill Valley, California, USA, Feldman Architecture, Inc. © / Hilgard Garden, Berkeley, California, USA, Mary Barensfeld Architecture ©


His new book “Living Roofs” shares those much admired cityscape rooftop gardens in New York and other cities, clever retrofit solutions and award-winning sustainable homes. “For those apartment dwellers, bringing a touch of greenery into your home is important and allows for you to take part in the serene and tranquil comfort that only nature can provide.”

Romolo Private Terrace, Milan, Italy, Cristina Mazzucchelli © Matteo Carassale / Crosby Street Rooftop Terrace, New York City, USA, Gunn Landscape Architecture, PLLC © Alexander Herring


ASHLEY PENN is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute in the United Kingdom where he worked for many years as a landscape architect. He has written extensively for the Landscape Architects Network, a website that offers high quality online content to people who want to learn more about landscape architecture and the environment, as a volunteer since 2012 and is currently the Content Director. He studied horticulture before specializing in landscape design as an undergraduate. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Turner Prize for Innovation in Design. While studying his Post Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture, Ashley developed interests in landscape history and green technologies, including green roofs and green walls. He has written many articles about green roofs for Landscape Architects Network. Ashley currently resides in Nokia, Finland, where he works as a freelance landscape designer.

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