Studio Gang Architects, Wheat Prairie

Chicago, IL

In collaboration with Studio Gang, Omni Ecosystems® designed and cultivated a wheat prairie rooftop at Studio Gang Architects Chicago headquarters. Illinois’ ecological history, native prairies, and wheat fields inspired this roof’s design concept. Omni designed this ecosystem not merely for one point in time, or for one seasonal high-point, but with a complete vision for its ecological succession.

The rooftop yielded a healthy crop of amber waves the following summer, which local students in an after-school program hand-harvested. Professional millers ground the grain into 66 pounds of high-quality pastry flour and a Chicago bakery baked it into pastries that the local students sold as a fundraiser. The initiative marked the first-known rooftop grain harvest, and was publicly recognized by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel with a press conference and visit to Omni headquarters.




  • 2017 IL-ASLA Merit Award, Landscape Architectural Research

  • 2017 GRHC Best Extensive Institutional Green Roof Award


Thresh & winnow

66 lbs of high-grade pastry flour




“With more than fifty species planted on top of a historic building, our mini prairie functions more as a thriving ecosystem than a green roof, creating food and habitat for birds, butterflies, insects, fungi, and now people.”

-Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang