These roof decks offer access to the breathtaking landscapes that informed the design of the building bases below. For more inspiration, check out our outdoor spaces board on Pinterest.
1. SL11024 Student Apartments by Lorcan O'Herlihy
Two separate structures make up the 31-unit off-campus residence for UCLA students and faculty by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects. Adjacent to Richard Neutra’s landmarked Strathmore Apartments, the 55,000-square-foot triangular complex feels airy, not imposing, thanks to the clever use of white-painted corrugated aluminum and green cement-board for siding, as well as perforated aluminum for external staircase enclosures. Terraced green areas increase air circulation and rooftops—mostly yellow balau decking but with space devoted to trendy urban gardens—afford a coveted view.
2. Chelsea Apartment by Luca Andrisani Architect and Philip A. Gulotta Jr.
A hot tub and shower are hidden behind marine-plywood walls, studded with dowels to assist climbing vines, on the roof terrace of a duplex penthouse in Chelsea by Luca Andrisani Architect and Philip A. Gulotta Jr.
This house's surroundings are reflected in a pair of chaise longues perched on pine decking amidst a green roof in a design by Studio MK27. The homeowners and their guests have total privacy, sheltered by the dense forest of Guarujá, Brazil.
4. Cella Bar by FCC Architecture and Paulo Lobo Interior Design
FCC Architecture and Paulo Lobo Interior Design’s design for Cella Bar, a tapas restaurant and lounge in Madalena, Azores, was informed by the vineyards and wine culture of Pico Island, not to mention the volcanic Mount Pico. A curvaceous extension to Cella Bar suggests a whale’s belly, a barrel, or perhaps a ship in construction. A deck, where guests can settle into rattan seating to take in the sun, straddles an oblong section of the storehouse roof and an organic, asymmetrical area on top of the extension.
5. Sulwhasoo Flagship by Neri & Hu
Tasked with designing a structure that resembled a traditional Korean lantern, Interior Design Hall of Fame members Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu used a continuous, modular framework constructed with brass rods to moderate the five-story, 21,000-square-foot building, a beauty company's debut flagship. The framework starts down in the basement spa and works its way up through the retail levels, ultimately becoming a canopy for the roof terrace. Wander its pathways of pebbles and brick for enviable views of Seoul.
6. San Francisco Home by CSS Architecture and Subject to Change
This San Francisco home’s four floors are tied together by a zigzagging, floating stair. CCS Architecture and Subject to Change transformed the 4,000-square-foot abode, originally a developer-built spec house, into a hangout for social gatherings and work meetings alike. Outdoor terraces each have their own attraction: an outdoor kitchen and fire pit, a hot tub, a sunning area with chaise lounges. The view is worth the climb.
The strikingly contemporary Hotel Seamarq by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner and Interior Design Hall of Fame member Richard Meier was inspired by its surroundings–the Sea of Japan on one side and a panorama of mountains and a lake on the other. Meier’s trademark powder-coated aluminum panels form balconies, canopies, louvers, and fins on the porcelain-white tower. Envisioned as a draw for international sports enthusiasts, retreat-seeking Koreans, and corporate conferences, the hotel also offers a roof deck where visitors can host social events or swim in indoor or outdoor pools and hot tubs.