Roof Terrace Design

City Roof Garden

The brief from a corporate client for this roof terrace space was 'Fun and Entertainment'. As a roof terrace design project it was a blank and exciting canvas, but logistically it was very challenging due to the time constraints and usual weight and wind loading problems associated with roof terraces.

The strongest feature of this terrace was the spectacular view that incorporates Hawksmoor's Christ Church Spitalfields and Foster's Gherkin, a real fusion of new and old architecture; the night-time panorama is especially breathtaking.

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Photos by Marianne Majerus

The roof terrace design is based on strong axial lines, and 2 slight level changes. A dramatic avenue of underplanted multi stemmed silver birch trees draw you into the space down a wide path of grass. The space is then further divided into a central raised and built in seating area and long terrace for tables and chairs. The raised seating area is enclosed with Balau hardwood trellis and an oak framework with a panoramic window backed by glass creating a feeling of added depth and reflecting the spectacular view. A hyperbolic shade sail provides respite from the elements and lush deep purple velvet cushions invite you to relax.

It was crucial not to spoil the view, so once through the Birch trees the line of the parapet wall is raised and clad in hardwood trellis, but kept at a uniform level to leave a clear unimpeded sight line around the terrace.

The furniture played a key role in the 'Fun' factor and was selected carefully to reflect the clients taste. It also provided a softening effect on the large expanses of timber.

The planting also played an important role in contrasting with the hard landscaping, we used mainly soft meadow style plants that would stand up to the prevailing harsh elements. Walls of Bamboo were also used to define the space and hide areas not accessible to the public; irrigation was essential for these to survive. Subtle lighting added the finishing touches to this great Shoreditch Roof Terrace.

Registered member of the society of garden designers

British Association of Landscape Industries

Royal Horticultural Society - London Garden Designer