Tag Archive for Plantings

Local 11 Forces a Change and a New Design is Created

West Village Rooftop Restoration

After 10 years of enjoying his rooftop overlooking the Hudson River a longtime client of ours found it necessary to sacrifice his terrace for 6 months due to the building’s need for Local 11 work. Local 11 is a law that was passed in 1998 requiring buildings above 6 stories to have regular inspections and repair work to their facades for the safety of pedestrians and owners below.

West Village Rooftop Restoration

Scaffolding, cables, and equipment require a 6 month period of non-use.

Our client’s outdoor space was the actual rooftop for the entire north side of the building and this meant tearing apart many of the built-in planters, removing plants, and key elements to make room for the scaffolding and equipment. What was initially a major inconvenience turned out to be a welcome opportunity for our client to bring the terrace’s design into a more modern, simplified, and clean aesthetic.

New Planters and Plants allow for more Furniture:

West Village Rooftop RestorationAll of the built-in Cedar planters were removed and brand new, colorful architectural fiberglass freestanding planters took their place.

Fresh plantings were added of different varieties highlighting the colorful containers as they grow vertically and spill over. Reducing the planted areas on the terrace allowed the incorporation of more furniture and more capability for entertaining, which the client had been longing for.

Simple and low-slung teak sofas, chair and coffee tables create an intimate sitting area while the existing chaise lounges have more room to breathe and a permanent location on the rooftop.

West Village Rooftop Restoration

An Entire Outdoor Living Space is Anchored by the Pergola:

The clear Cedar pergola from the original design was restored to its original honey color and all hardware was sanded and brought back to original finishes. Keeping the pergola was imperative to the client as it allowed the dining area to be kept in the same spot which offers unobstructed views of the Hudson River to the west and the Empire State Building to the north.

West Village Rooftop Restoration

West Village Rooftop RestorationNext to the dining area, custom cabinetry with a serving counter and storage below provides a perfect spot for staging food and cocktails while also providing protection from the elements for the client’s stereo controls and other electronics.

Lighting and Irrigation:

Existing lighting and irrigation systems were removed and replaced with brand new, state-of-the-art landscape lighting and drip irrigation systems. Whipping winds, shady spots, and blazing sun are all elements that are experienced on this rooftop and the new drip system allows for each plant to be watered at different rates and frequencies based on their unique needs throughout the space. A fully customized low-voltage lighting system provides a dramatic effect on the plants and hardscapes as the sun sets and the outdoor space is used into the night.

We look forward to a wonderful spring and thank you for your continued business and support!

– kokobo greenscapes…. Design, Build, Sustain

QUEENS BACKYARD IS DOUBLED IN SIZE AND HOMEOWNERS NOW ENJOY OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING AT ITS FINEST

—Backyard Landscape Renovation in Queens, NY—

THE “BACK” STORY

Queens BackyardA petite backyard in Queens was in dire need of a new look, smarter use of limited space, and more structurally-sound construction. The shared garage had a sagging roof, crumbling walls, and a ugly block facade. While there were some overgrown trees on the property the backyard was very drab and lacking any real greenery. The stoop to the raised porch was lopsided and the canopy covering the porch was in desperate need of updating. The clients were interested in outdoor cooking and entertaining for small groups, using the space at night, and greening and softening the edges of the yard to provide an attractive border and privacy from the alleyway behind and the neighbors.

DEMOLITION BEGINS AND THE MAIN SPACE TAKES SHAPE

Queens BackyardThe garage became a harrowing task to rectify, as asbestos was discovered in the rooftop materials, and it being a shared structure, cooperation with the neighbors was mandatory. Permits were obtained, the asbestos was taken care of by an environmental firm and the garage was demolished and carted away.

The large arborvitae at the rear of the yard had to be removed, due to their encroaching size and the light that they blocked from the space. The Japanese maple was kept however, for it was healthy and its curvy truck provided an interesting effect against the fencing. New plantings were adding into every corner and edge of the backyard – a raised bed against the house hosts an array of perennials and ferns, a small bed opposite the kitchen island has vines which will grow along the new fence and soften that narrow pathway, a second bed along that fence and at the rear of the yard provides evergreen interest and privacy from the alley behind, finally tiny little beds at the base of the 4 iron trellis posts contain ivy which will grow up and over the structure throughout the year to offer shade and seasonal interest.

Queens Backyard Renovation

Queens Backyard RenovationThe stoop, landing, and steps to the basement received all new materials. Stucco risers with blue stone treads create an elegant entry from the garden into the house, along with stucco cheek walls with bluestone cap stones. Step lights were installed into each so they can be easily navigated at night and add to the ambiance of the space. The stoop canopy was replaced with a natural cedar railing and overhead structure covered by an opaque corrugated fiberglass roof that allows light to penetrate the previously dark sitting area on the landing.

 

OUTDOOR COOKING AND ENTERTAINING

While entertaining, the clients can utilize the outdoor kitchen island which was designed to host a grill, refrigerator, storage, and bar seating, as well as provide ample serving space. It was important to the clients that the “grillmaster” be allowed to share in the occasion, so the dining area was placed next to the island and they are able to converse with those seated at the dining table and at the bar seamlessly. The dining area is demarcated by a prefabricated iron trellis in which custom lighting has been hung to illuminate the table well into the evening.

Queens Backyard Renovation

AN “AWARD-WINNING” FINAL RESULT

Drastic changes to the small backyard have made a world of difference and the space is almost unrecognizable from what it used to be! One of the interesting facts about this project is that eco-friendly materials were used on many elements…the pavers in the dining area are permeable to reduce surface run-off, the concrete used for foundations and walkways was a special eco-friendly mix, and all of the landscape lighting is low-voltage and LED which will consume very little energy.

In the end, the project provided the homeowners with exactly what they envisioned…a larger space with all the amenities they hoped to include in their outdoor “lounge”. This project recently was awarded a SILVER design award in the MINISCAPE division (spaces <2,000 sf) at the LINLA 2013 Landscape Design/Build Environmental Enhancement Awards.

Queens Backyard Renovation

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