Terrace With A View


2016 Merit Award


Chicago, IL


1,500 sq ft


Private Residence



Landscape Architects

Project Details

The client knew they had spectacular city views when they purchased this 28th floor penthouse, but the outdoor space was uninspired and offered little seating. To address the underutilized outdoor space, they hired Mariani Landscape to create an outdoor entertainment space that would capitalize on the skyline views and valuable real estate.

The design intent was to draw people outside to experience the unique setting through the creation of a variety of comfortable and elegant garden rooms which would offer different types of gathering opportunities. This series of rooms was achieved by treating the terrace as an extension of the interior living space. Views from the inside outdoors were carefully considered during the design process, which included a multi-disciplinary team of consultants, consisting of an engineer and roofing company to ensure the weights, wind loads, and roof condition were properly addressed.

The terrace was broken into a series of outdoor rooms with varying functions, such as a cozy seating around a fire feature, an outdoor kitchen, multiple dining spaces, and a quiet lounge area. Natural cleft bluestone paving unifies the spaces and brings in a modern flair. Raised Ipe planters create a more personal scale and a sense of space while protecting seating areas from the strong Chicago wind. The outdoor kitchen offers an outdoor refrigerator, and a breakfast bar was designed along the parapet wall to accommodate a morning view of the sunrise while enjoying a cup of coffee.

The planting palette was carefully selected to withstand the harsh conditions of a Chicago rooftop, while offering seasonal interest. A color scheme of strong reds and orange add drama and contrast to the planted areas. The furniture throughout the terrace was designed in collaboration with the interior design team and was carefully customized to be appropriately anchored to the terrace for safety.

The results of the Terrace With A View are stunning while providing a comfortable space with high style among a magnificent skyline.

Project Team

Lightscape; David Douglas and Company; SH Bertucci; ORE; Advanced Irrigation

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