rooftop city views
London's architectural complexity, abound in historic monuments, emergent skyscrapers and verdant treetops, entails the sympathetic development of land, integration of new sightlines and preservation of roof terrace views. This intricate, diverse skyline with its eclectic nuances and unique contexts demarcates distinctive vistas, imparting countless of the world's best-loved and well-known landmarks. While Hong Kong, the globe's unchallenged skyscraper capital, encompasses 40 times more buildings over 100 metres in height than London for a similarly sized population, its twofold breadth and halcyon economy insatiably sustain such densely matrixed architectures – albeit forever experienced in the claustrophobic confines of umbrageous edifices. London's anatomy remains Europe's greenest by far, and with robust Protected Views policies and Open Space strategies, its roof terrace views are intrinsically interlinked in a skyline distinctly of its place.
A Room with a View
Old St Paul's Cathedral stood as the world's tallest building for two hundred years. Nearly seven centuries later, the slackening of strict building regulations during the 1960's have initiated the first surge of skyscraper development in the capital. Currently, more than 500 new tall buildings around Greater London are in the pipeline – half in the east and a sizeable cluster centrally. Despite an investment slowdown due to Brexit after-effects, London continues to inaugurate the most skyscrapers in the European Union, where the forthcoming addition of hundreds more alerts sceptics and encourages entrepreneurs equally. With 100,000 new housing units expected by 2030, this steady incline represents a mere ten percent of needed homes; a room with a view, it transpires, has become sheer necessity rather than a privilege, yet what's in this viewpoint is an entirely separate matter all together...
Undoubtedly, roof terrace views are as significant as our landscape designs, and these inspiring backdrops, their locations, expansiveness and uniqueness motivate both where our clients choose to live and the creative methodologies we utilise to enhance them. Increasingly, and rather inescapably, our crowded skylines of civic mountain ranges yield harsh microclimates, yet all the same evoke senses of freedom, fearlessness and personal tenure in commanding panoramas. Typically inhospitable, disconnected and dispiritedly gardenless, newly created roof terraces encompass barren expanses of concrete, steel and glass, where humanising the outside space entails an attentive reciprocality of residence, rooftop and surrounding urban landscape. Orienting the seating, planting and lighting to complement and accentuate these interrelated views forms a complete, immersive outdoor experience rich in a meaningful sense of place. Where vistas are concealed, yet potentially connective, we improve viewability by creating elevated platforms to admire the scenery – extending essence and usage.
Site-conscious designs echo their backdrops' prominent shapes, materials and colours, architecturally reiterating a profound spirit of place through intuitiveness, versatility and constructional skilfulness. Although unconducive to many of the elements we're accustomed to in terrene gardens, rooftops present a multiplicity of distinguishable aspects, inherently beneficial in highlighting the genius loci of urban environments. Altitudinal, perspectival and substantially immersive, roof terrace aeriality facilitates multilayered sceneries, where bird's-eye views reveal hidden interlayers of horizon lines, vantage points and every metropolitan edificial nuance in their midst. In elevating decks, forming green frameworks, mimicking architectonic silhouettes with custom-made containers, installing pivoted lighting luminaires, concealing and unveiling views seasonally with deciduous vegetations, and positioning seating zones panoramically, we put to maximal use the ambient integrities of roof terraces and their limitless outlooks – hallmarked by the alluring presence of engaging landmark views.