Architect Joel Sanders seeks building designs that integrate with nature

This penthouse loft in Manhattan's Nolita section has a central light well and a garden, designed by Joel Sanders. Photo: Joel Sanders Architect

Five years ago, New York-based architect Joel Sanders was renovating a Manhattan penthouse when he ran into a problem. "There was a rooftop garden, and what we needed to figure out was how to connect it to the loft," he says. "We decided to reverse modernist convention. Instead of taking hard materials outside, we brought the outside in."

Wednesday, 13 March, 2013, 5:20am

Off the Wall

Inside out

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Victoriana revisited

If you are lacking indoor space, but want to surround yourself with plants, a terrarium could be the answer.

The miniature, private worlds occupied by lush greens and tiny figurines have begun gaining favour with young design enthusiasts and creative types.

1 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Illegal park cleared as deadline looms

Rural strongman Leung Fuk-yuen has reluctantly demolished most of the structures he built on government land in a country park that he has illegally occupied for almost two decades, ahead of today's deadline.

28 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Job requires a verdant touch

For landscape architect Angie Au-yeung, one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work involves being able to blend functional buildings and facilities into aesthetically pleasing structures the public can enjoy.

14 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Fukushima Anniversary Exhibition

13 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Planning for an oasis

Whether you have a rooftop, balcony or ground-floor garden, you can make the most of your open-air living space with some planning and imaginative thinking.

With spring around the corner, there is no better time than now to get started.

2 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

How does your (miniature) garden grow? In a jar!

Bring nature into your home with a mini-indoor garden called a terrarium. These air-tight environments are self-sustaining and require little maintenance. They're a good way to start gardening and learning about plants.

What you'll need

Glass jar (any size) with a lid


Charcoal chips

Potting soil

12 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Making the most of the great outdoors

Is it just me, or has romance finally infiltrated outdoor spaces? Tucked away inside courtyards and on terraces and rooftops throughout the city, you are bound to find intimate nooks to curl up in, have a cuddle, relax with a book or dine a deux.

18 May 2011 - 12:00am

Hang in there

The vertical garden that is reportedly dying on Yau Lai Estate in Yau Tong highlights how these 'living walls' need regular maintenance to keep them fresh and green. Bringing them indoors to enliven homes and offices is an even greater challenge, involving other considerations such as ensuring they have ample ultraviolet light. Technique is also important.

15 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Keep the concrete jungle out of our country parks

Our country parks are cherished. We should treat them as though they are sacred. Yet this reverence does not appear to be shared by those developing a parcel of private land within the Plover Cove reserve. One of our most pristine, serene places is being despoiled.

27 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Law toothless over private sites in parks

The Country Parks Ordinance does not cover private sites that are inside country parks, the government said yesterday.

And excavation work at these sites does not contravene the law as it can be seen as an agricultural activity.

24 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Creating green havens in the city

Living in a crowded city is exciting, but it has its disadvantages, such as not being able to enjoy nature. But if you have a decent size garden, rooftop or even a balcony, starting from about 500 sqft, you can create your own green oasis in Hong Kong's concrete jungle.

18 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

The only way is up

BIG CITIES are always short of green space so it's no surprise that architects and landscape designers are looking for a new perspective. And if there is one person who knows how to make good use of vertical space, it's French botanist, scientist and artist Patrick Blanc.

6 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

Rooftop gardening has never been so practical

The idea of tending a home vegetable or fruit garden in Hong Kong may seem ambitious, but some people are embracing it for practical, economical and environmental reasons.

According to Alfa Poon, the owner of Alfa House Florist, farming in a high-rise environment is not such a far-fetched idea as long as one has sufficient space and a considerable amount of sunlight.

6 Nov 2009 - 12:00am