Hidden behind the impressive Grade II listed façade of a Bedford Street Penthouse, this purpose-built roof terrace was newly developed. Our client asked us to develop a number of concepts for how the space could be used with flexibility. They wanted us to provide comfortable seating for relaxation and a more formal dining arrangement. Another requirement was to set in planting that attracted wildlife, provided colour and scent and to specify materials that would soften the hard lines of the new build extension, whilst retaining the high specification finish of the existing development.
Getting to know how our client would use the space was crucial to agreeing the final design. Flexibility was absolutely key and during our concept discussions it became clear that this scheme needed some engineering to make it work. We designed the planters as 14 individual units, hand crafted from sustainably sourced hardwood by our carpenters. Larger units were built to provide stability and freestanding plant supports in permanent situations for the taller plants. This allowed them to establish and soften the building, whilst not compromising the integrity of the walls or waterproofing in the future. The remainder of planters were built with wheels, hidden through careful design to enable our client to move the planters as required for dinner, drinks, additional privacy from neighbouring properties or simply because they wanted a change in layout. This carefully considered planning allowed a generously proportioned sofa set and a dining set with stacking chairs to be accommodated without compromise.
Planting evergreen screens has given a year-round sense of privacy to the terrace and covers unsightly views, whilst more attractive views, such as architectural highlights of the London Coliseum, are framed by soft transparent grasses and delicate flowers. Nectar rich flowering plants and scented Jasmine sit alongside a bee box and a very urban apple tree. Herbs for cooking and cocktails, including lemon verbena, tarragon and thyme, provide a useful addition to the generous planting scheme that has been allowed.
Planting evergreen screens has given a year round sense of privacy to the terrace and covers unsightly views, whilst more attractive views such as architectural highlights of the London Coliseum are framed by soft transparent grasses and delicate flowers.Andrew M, Covent Garden