City ziggurat garden

Fukuoka, Japan, is home to an iconic ziggurat-like building topped by a dozen roof garden steps.

Acros Fukuoka
Kenta Mabuchi from Fukuoka, Japan / CC BY-SA

The Acros Fukuoka doesn’t even have an English Wikipedia article, and that’s a terrible shame. This building was constructed on one of the last green spaces in the central city, so to preserve some of that essential parkland space the architects included a green roof. Instead of just one green roof, though, this building has a dozen.

(Side note: green roofs are a popular way to incorporate plants into architecture. A garden on the roof of your house, office block, or skyscraper is great for insulation, supports animal life in the city – bees! won’t someone think of the bees? – and are just aesthetically and spiritually pleasing.)

It’s not exactly a ziggurat – the steps only go up one side – but the terraces are covered in a verdant garden that cascades down the side like a green waterfall. Oh, and there are actual waterfalls in there too. The building itself is a combination of offices and civic facilities such as a symphony hall, and of course people are free to walk the terraced gardens and enjoy the views.

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