Rafael Viñoly plans world's largest green roof for Silicon Valley

Rafael Viñoly reveals plans for the "largest green roof in the world" in Silicon Valley

Architect Rafael Viñoly has unveiled plans to convert an ageing shopping centre in California's Silicon Valley into a vast development featuring the world's largest roof garden (+ slideshow).

The Hills at Vallco by Rafael Vinoly

Rafael Viñoly, the architect behind London's controversial Walkie Talkie building, will work with OLIN Landscape Architects to develop the Vallco Shopping Mall in Cupertino into a vast mixed-use development featuring a 30-acre (12 hectare) green roof.

The Hills at Vallco by Rafael Vinoly

If the plans are approved, the Hills at Vallco Scheme would occupy a 50-acre (20 hectare) site in the heart of Silicon Valley between Apple's One Infinite Loop headquarters and the Norman Foster-designed Apple Campus 2 – the progress of which was shown in recent a drone movie.

The Hills at Vallco by Rafael Vinoly

"The Hills at Vallco features an unprecedented 30-acre community park and nature preserve, which will not only be the largest community park in Cupertino, but also the largest green roof in the world," said a statement from Sand Hill Property Company, the developer behind the $3 billion (£2 billion) scheme.

The undulating green roof – designed to buffer the partial residential scheme from neighbouring industrial estates – would be crossed by a 3.8-mile network of walking trails. Vineyards and orchards, an amphitheater, playgrounds and banks of native planting to attract local wildlife would also be hosted on the roof.

The Hills at Vallco by Rafael Vinoly

Up to 800 apartments, 185,000 square metres of office space and a new shopping centre containing a cinema, bowling lanes, an ice rink and gym are intended to site below the green roof.

Sand Hill director Reed Moulds said: "The Hills at Vallco expresses the lifestyle, innovation and creativity of Silicon Valley, and reinforces Cupertino's position as the social, economic, technology and architectural centre of Silicon Valley."

The Hills at Vallco by Rafael Vinoly

The development would take the place of the existing Vallco Shopping Malls, which has recently seen the closure of key brands Macy's and Sears, while its lower level has been closed for over a decade. Sand Hill acquired the site from its four separate owners earlier this year.

The Hills at Vallco by Rafael Vinoly

Plans for the scheme will be submitted to the City of Cupertino in the coming weeks and a public consultation is currently running on The Hills at Vallco website.

Viñoly's Walkie Talkie tower was recently named the worst building in the UK in 2015, after it melted cars and was blamed for powerful downdraughts.

The Uruguayan architect also designed the skinny 432 Park Avenue skyscraper in New York, which is scheduled to complete this year.