Shoreditch Roof Terrace

The clients were a young couple, both architects who had recently developed a warehouse building in Shoreditch and were looking for a garden designer to create a green space on their roof. They had seen a roof terrace of mine in Grand Designs and wanted a similar feel.

The initial design involved less planting and more entertaining space. As we developed the garden we felt that there was so much surrounding hard industrial architecture in Shoreditch, that the space was crying out for plants, so we set upon creating a ‘Prairie Style Green Roof Terrace’.

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Shoreditch Roof Terrace Shoreditch Roof Terrace Shoreditch Roof Terrace Shoreditch Roof Terrace Shoreditch Roof Terrace Shoreditch Roof Terrace Shoreditch Roof Terrace Shoreditch Roof Terrace

Photos by Marianne Majerus

The priority was to ensure that the terrace was adequately waterproofed and structurally sound. A liquid plastic decothane waterproof system was used as the existing asphalt roof was leaking.

The roof terrace was an awkward shape, which we decided to accentuate using acute angles for the overall layout and timber seating. We used Cedar wood for the decking and cedar shingles on the cladding, which as it is ageing compliments the soft buff pink hues of the brickwork. The boundaries are hidden with terraced galvanised planters that are already invisible as the planting has spilled over, creating a tiered wall of plants. A raised section of 20cm was designed for the semi intensive green roof, which was installed by a specialist contractor. The planting here is the same as the rest of the terrace to unify the space. There are slate paddle stones bedded onto hidden concrete blocks to lead you through the tall planting of the semi intensive green roof to another long bench tucked away in the corner by the herb garden.

The overall planting is soft pinks and russet colours, essentially drought tolerant planting, although the garden is irrigated via a wall mounted Rainwater HOG.

Key planting includes Sedum ‘Matrona’, Stipa tenuissima, Aquilegias, Penstemon ‘Garnet’, Linaria purpurea, Achillea Cerise Queen, Gaura lindheimeri.

The overall effect is of a charming meadow brimming with wildlife, surrounded by an impressive Shoreditch city skyline.

Registered member of the society of garden designers

British Association of Landscape Industries

Royal Horticultural Society - London Garden Designer