October 25, 2015

How to Create an Attractive Sky Garden for Residential Developments

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Sky Gardens, or rooftop gardens, are popular additions to luxury prime residential developments throughout London where the availability of ground floor garden area is at a minimum.

Sky Gardens, or roof top gardens in London Sky Gardens, or rooftop gardens in London

On these large-scale residential developments, large rooftop garden spaces are normally communal or limited to the top floor penthouses. Lower level apartments may benefit from small balcony spaces or inner courtyards if planning and design allow.

In all of these external Sky Gardens, the main key to a successful design is ensuring that they are useable spaces. This means considering ease of access, creating an ambience and also, especially in the UK, considering some kind of weather protection.

When residential developments are created out of existing buildings, or where height restrictions apply, a frameless balustrade is a popular option for defining the external parameters of the rooftop terrace.

Glass Balustrades

Frameless Glass Balustrades have the unique ability to allow light and vision through the safety barrier, therefore reducing the impact a roof terrace or garden would have to a residential development. They are the perfect option for small balcony spaces to residential developments as they don’t restrict or impeded views out from the internal spaces.

Residential developments, especially ones in London, can carry a premium for natural attributes of their location, such as a view over the Thames. You don’t want to reduce this massive selling factor by impeding views out.

Access to any external areas has to be hassle-free or they just won’t be used. Sliding or Bi Folding doors with a level threshold are a great option for balcony or roof terrace access as when the doors are open the internal and external spaces effectively merge.

Where a flush threshold is being used from inside to out on a roof garden drainage of this area is important. An effective flush threshold drainage channel, like the IQ Flush Threshold Drain, will be required to maintain the level threshold whilst providing an effective and efficiency drainage solution that can be connected to the building drainage.

Lastly: weather protection. The UK climate doesn’t naturally allow for year-round al fresco living like some of our European neighbours so consideration of rooftop garden design is needed where heating, lighting and water protection are all elements that should be considered for inclusion.

An Umbris Louvre Roof with integrated LED lighting over al fresco dining area An Umbris Louvre Roof with integrated LED lighting over al fresco dining area

An Umbris Louvre Roof is a great way to combine all of these required considerations into one, lightweight rooftop installation to create a year-round external living space.

The automated louvres within the Umbris aluminium roof create a fully watertight terrace roof when turned flat. With built-in drainage and louvre gutters, your external roof garden will stay dry and be useable for more of the year.

LED lights and radiant heating panels are easily integrated into the minimal Louvre Roof structure for a more comfortable external living space.

You can find more architectural inspiration for your Sky Garden at our Pinterest Board: Sky Gardens for Residential Development.