Our client for this project challenged us to transform 600 square feet of asphalt roof in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood into a unique outdoor space for their family. To make their challenge more difficult, the space is at the bottom of a 100' deep brick and stucco canyon formed by neighboring buildings. Our response was to create an outdoor room, open to the sky.
At the north & west sides of the terrace, where adjacent buildings are close, tall walls topped with greenery maximize privacy. To the east, the nearby buildings step back, and new elements, including a large planter, are allowed to drop lower. This lower height maintains visual privacy from neighbors, while allowing those on the terrace to take psychological possession of the greater space beyond the roof's edge.
At each end of the terrace, built in seating is arrayed around custom light fixtures whose nighttime pools of light create natural gathering spots, 21st century versions of a campfire.
Every element of the roof had to be carefully designed to be delivered via a narrow and circuitous path through the building - and through our client's fully furnished residence. We also utilized a number of material and construction innovations to keep every element light enough to be safely supported by the 100 year old roof structure without problem.
Photos: (c) Jason Valdina