Terraformed Terrace in the Sky

December 14, 2011 by

Created from lightweight concrete, plants, and moss, artist Robert Cannon refers to his sculptures and containers as Terraforms, which literally means “earth-shaping” or the process of “deliberate modification of the atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to those of Earth to make it habitable by humans.”

Last summer, Cannon created several pieces for this expansive “terraformed” terrace on New York’s Upper West Side. The nearly 3000 sq ft wrap terrace commands impressive views of Central Park and magnificent sunsets over the Hudson River.

The modern terrace, whose planting plan was created by Jungle in Williamsburg and installed by Vert Gardens, was conceived as a series of outdoor rooms connected by meandering terraformed stroll gardens.

The lightweight containers have hidden casters which enable the owners to rearrange the terrace and also allow for easy roof maintenance. At night the garden is lit with light spilling out from the bottom of the containers, powered by hidden LED’s in the bases.

Working in ferro-cement, Cannon creates a metal mesh armature which he covers with layers of stucco cement to form a strong weather-resistant shell which he then fills with soil and plants, including Scotch and Irish Moss as he did for this project. Ideal for urban settings, each piece has a built-in irrigation system making it virtually maintenance-free. Cannon does not cast the sculptures from forms–each one is unique.

Photos supplied by Robert Cannon.


  1. Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand said:

    WOOT love this! This must be at Moss Rocks girlfriend must share with Helen Yoest *<|};-)

    — December 15, 2011 @ 10:48

  2. Jeavonna Chapman said:

    Very nice way to green a terrace.

    — December 15, 2011 @ 11:04

  3. Cindy Marks said:

    Really nice! Organic design that blends well with the surroundings and sounds like it was well thought out for maintenance. Kudos!

    — December 15, 2011 @ 11:28

  4. Mark Corbin said:

    Beautiful concept. The garden has a great meandering visual effect and flow that contrasts well with the clean lines of the building.

    — December 23, 2011 @ 10:51

  5. Lightweight Cement Furniture That’s Heavy in Design | Urban Gardens | Unlimited Thinking For Limited Spaces | Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] Robert Cannon, whose Terraform gardens we featured a while back, has designed some cool terraformed furniture made using a metal […]

    — January 6, 2012 @ 15:39

  6. Endodontist St. Louis said:

    Very Enjoyable! Very glad to visit your blog.

    — July 18, 2012 @ 08:10

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