West Loop Roof Garden


2016 Merit Award


Chicago, IL


2,054 sq ft


Private Residence



Landscape Architects

Project Details

Located just west of the Chicago Loop, the private roof of this top floor condominium has commanding views of Chicago’s skyline. The client’s directive was to create a new outdoor space that would take advantage of the ample roof area, but keep the scale of the spaces intimate. The design program required that the space be contemporary, useful in a variety of climatic conditions at both day and night, provide a shade structure, maintain views to the skyline, incorporate as much garden as possible, and provide a vegetable and herb garden.

A primary goal of the design was to break the roof into several different living spaces. The dining area and outdoor kitchen was located closest to the interior wet bar, but also east of the penthouse so it would be shaded by the late afternoon sun. The primary outdoor living space was placed to take advantage of the best views of the downtown skyline and was raised and surrounded by dense gardens to make it feel at-grade. A pergola hangs over the space with the rafters angled to maximize summer shade while still allowing air flow. A second, smaller living space is open-air serving as a sunny lounge area on summer days with a fire area for evening gathering. Two raised vegetable gardens are tucked around the corner from the main living space.

An ipe wall screens the air conditioning unit and creates a hidden garden. Waves of native and ornamental grasses and perennials create movement and reflect the prairie.

The landscape of the West Loop Roof Garden is a stunning series of outdoor living spaces tucked into a garden. The design detailed showcases this green roof as a high-end urban roof garden. The landscape was designed to allow the client to use the space for a variety of purposes, from summer barbecue gatherings to quiet reflection.

Project Team

Michael J. Leary; Perry & Associates, LLC; Fifield Construction & Realty LLC; Lightscape, Inc.; Advanced Sprinkler Systems, Inc.

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