The results of the Green Roof competition, which has a ten-year tradition, were solemnly announced yesterday at the Great World of Technology in Ostrava-Vítkovice. The winner of the competition was the green roof on the new gorilla pavilion – the Dja Reserve – at the Prague Zoo.
During the evaluation, the judges focused on the overall plan and the quality of the architectural design and technical solutions, the sustainability of the project, but also the current state of the green roof. Regarding the victory of the roof at the Dja Reserve, they said that this pavilion “blends perfectly with the surrounding meadows with its organic shape and vegetation on the roof”.
“We are very happy about the award, because it confirms what we have been striving for,” said the director of the Prague Zoo, Miroslav Bobek. “Our goal was for the roof of the pavilion to connect with the steppe around the Sklenářka homestead, not only optically, but also ecologically. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Chvostov, this plan was perfectly fulfilled and the roof is covered with autochthonous vegetation and has already been inhabited by a number of heat-loving invertebrates, often very rare.”
A survey by entomologists on the spot discovered species classified as endangered in the Czech Republic. For example, the needle bluebird, which, according to experts, does not otherwise occupy roofs. Similarly surprising was the discovery for artificial biotopes of a rare species of sailing spider or common flower-loving spider.
“In addition to butterflies and spiders, ground squirrels also visit the roof, and with their digging they create space for reseeding plants from the wider area. This increases the biodiversity of the place and for us it is a confirmation that the roof is a real part of the ecosystem,” says Kateřina Chvostová, head of green design at the Prague Zoo, who accepted the award. “The implementation itself took three years, but the preparation was even longer. It was a real challenge and the result is exceptional,” she said.
The orientation of the roof offered two thematic units. A narrow strip along the visitor route connecting African-themed plantings and a larger area related to nearby native steppe habitats. Exotic species such as the African Pennisetum macrourum were planted in the all-area foundation of steppe species, established primarily by grasses of the genus Festuca and Stipa. On the other hand, the non-African part was enriched by the plantings of Dianthus carthusianorum or Scabiosa ochroleuca, grown in the program of the Department of the Environment, Hl. m. of Prague Regional Prague mixture.
“Green roofs help us improve the microclimate of the metropolis and at the same time reduce the so-called urban heat island effect. Our Prague zoo sets an example in adaptation measures to climate change, which I greatly appreciate and congratulate on the award,” says Deputy Mayor Mr. City of Prague for the environment and climate plan Jana Komrsková.
The “living” roof adorns the most modern and at the same time the largest pavilion in the Prague Zoo. The Dja Reserve welcomed its first visitors last September. In addition to the family group of lowland gorillas and other Central African animal species, the Prague Zoo presents to the public the long-term activities of the Prague Zoo to protect biodiversity in Cameroon.