North Pond Rooftop


2016 Merit Award


Chicago, IL


1,800 sq ft


Private Residence



Landscape Architects

Project Details

The owners of this Lincoln Park condo purchased their home for the sweeping skyline views and the potential of the 1,800 square foot, 17th floor rooftop terrace. The building is in the Beaux-Arts style, with classic detailing and over-scaled ornamentation. The precast stone and stucco façade, stone balustrades, and concrete paver terrace made for a cold composition of beige. Culliton Quinn Landscape Architecture and Burns and Beyerl Architects were challenged by the owner to “bring a little country to the city.” Reflecting the interior’s modern cabin feel, the rooftop was designed with varying textures, warmth, and inviting features.

The outdoor area would become an extension of the interior, a space that would feel comfortable for an intimate gathering but also accommodate larger get-togethers for family and friends. Oversized, paneled ipe planters in varying heights reflect the interior wall coverings while also providing separation between spaces that break up the expanse of paving, occupying 30% of the terrace. The planters impart scale and a natural texture with ample room for lush plantings; a colorful, textured palette of perennials, grasses and annuals that sway in the wind and serve as a playful backdrop to outdoor activities.

The ability to simultaneously entertain and grill drove the central location of the dining area and outdoor kitchen. The kitchen is situated along a stucco wall concealing the building’s utilities where a wire trellis support with vines serves as a backdrop. A green wall system adjacent to the kitchen is planted with a mix of annuals and herbs. The dining area is adorned with a steel pergola with climbing rose and wisteria, providing a pleasantly private dining experience from the condos above and accenting the strong form of the structure. A stainless steel water trough is a dramatic focal point with the lake to the near east. The raised circular deck offsets another space for gathering around a fire pit, evoking the owner’s nostalgia for camping, while soaking in the city skyline at night.

Project Team

Burns and Beyerl Architects; Kastenholz Construction Services, LLC; Clarence Davids & Company; Boilini Company; Advanced Sprinkler; Orsolini Welding and Fabricating; GLC Industries

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