An Urban Panorama
This expansive, contemporary roof garden is positioned amid an unparalleled 360-degree panorama in the heart of Covent Garden, where the outlines of the Royal Opera House and Shard are viewed around a versatile outdoor kitchen hub. A spinning London Eye is savoured across a sunny, grassy lounge, with a hovering Nelson's Column providing aerial focus for the seating area, while BT Tower forms a further radiant backdrop, facing the breakfast dining zone. The roof garden envelops this contemporary penthouse apartment's entire footprint, where coastal flora enables uninterrupted views, defined by bespoke planters, hardwood decking, porcelain tiles and artificial grass which produce a trio of distinct outdoor spaces. An integral surround sound system elevates alfresco rooftop ambience into a composition of liveable, modern exterior architecture.
Design & Words: Amir Schlezinger
roof garden design 125m²
This modern rooftop setting is enveloped by historic buildings in a busy part of Central London, where its new roof garden required a balanced design layout, congruous with the surroundings, as well as solutions for challenging site logistics. To enable this contemporary roof garden design and its large-scale terrace makeover, an entire surface waterproofing was methodically overhauled. We removed the previous landscaping scheme, which consisted of outdated brickwork, a plethora of pots and unsuitable vegetation, and utilised a furniture lift to hoist new construction materials into the site. The architectural design narrates a renewed roof garden dynamic – encapsulating our clients' exuberant Brazilian energy within a warm, vivid ambience.
Roof Garden Outline
The roof garden's outline is inherently elongated, and we sought to reshape it into three zones, each a unique outdoor space, to form a scheme traversing half metre of dynamic level changes. The central decked lounge is accessed via three spacious steps, flanking both its elevations, and framed by Lavender and Japanese Holly hedges along its entrance points. The morning dining area was surfaced in off-white porcelain tiles, enhanced by scented shrubs, where this cosy, tactile corner captures a fine BT Tower vista, enhancing intimacy within its city landscape and overall roof terrace design. The ultimate section, carpeted in soft synthetic grass, encompasses bird's-eye views of an iridescent London Eye and Royal Opera House in an iconic location.
The L-shaped outdoor kitchen spans 3.5 metres, providing alfresco cooking utilities, while its deep crimson cladding vividly contrasts a pristine white Corian worktop. With our clients hailing from Brazil, this feature forms an essential hub, both culinarily and socially. The Mediterranean flora truly thrives, soaking up sunshine amid drying wind and pollution, displayed in distinctive bespoke planters which accentuate a minimalist plant palette. LED strip lighting delineates the make-up of varied outdoor zones, seating areas and step risers, while a subtle colour scheme reiterates its surroundings in slate-grey and taupe, forming integral fluidity with a city rooftops backdrop.
Nestled on the fourth floor of this Covent Garden period building, the secluded roof garden spans 1,350 square feet, while right below its roofline thrives one of London's busiest street corners, immersed in everlasting soundscapes. In this urban environment, Mediterranean foliage is sunbathed in a south-facing microclimate, defined by Olive, Palm and Strawberry tree broad canopies, which generate remarkable architectural silhouettes under a breathtaking London terrace skyline. Robust coastal floras flourish amid this hectic urbanscape, redefined in minimalist combinations. Only twenty plant species were integrated into a well-orchestrated roof garden design, where keeping it simple sustains an effective rooftop landscape, congruent with our reduced upkeep approach – within a concise palette of refined design ideas.
We enjoyed collaborating with the specialist companies involved in realising this roof garden design project; from vital water sealing to efficient access, structural engineering to outdoor lighting design, the entire crew demonstrated their Londoners' proactive mentality. Such a design process contributes to an insightful experience, embedded in our contemporary garden mindset, where a multidisciplinary approach maintains a cohesive vision, alongside a compelling garden designer and client reciprocation. The new, trendy terrace design is evocative of its Covent Garden location, and most importantly in frequent use – relished by our clients, their family and friends.