Tag Archive for Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island Rooftop Terrace

We wanted to take the opportunity to share a unique project that we are especially proud of. It really shows the breadth of design elements and options that are available even in a confined space with strict parameters. This rooftop terrace shines with some of our strongest work yet. We hope you enjoy!

Oasis in the Sky

Roosevelt Island Rooftop TerraceThis 10th floor condominium sits in middle of the East River and has tremendous views of both Manhattan and Queens, but is also quite exposed to neighbors and natural elements. The 10th floor is not the top floor of this building and therefore the young couple who owns the unit is exposed to neighbor’s prying eyes from the tenants located in the upper stories as well as the building directly opposite on Roosevelt Island’s main drag. While east and west viewpoints offer incredible cityscapes, the clients required some privacy from the northern neighbors as well as those above them. The clients enjoy hosting family and friends, and purchased the unit with a terrace in one of Roosevelt Island’s new constructions with the purpose of creating a beautiful, usable, and intimate outdoor space that would enhance their interiors and add great value to their home.

Roosevelt Island Rooftop Terrace

To establish the intimate space they required the designer looked to create privacy through planting. This was achieved by incorporating custom built-in planters along the perimeter of the space, placing larger plants in key locations and maintaining those east and west views of the cities beyond. Allowing a larger tree such as the Himalayan Birch ample room to grow and thrive 6′ x 6′ planting areas were incorporated in 3 points of the terrace; creating balance and variation with the landscape. Incorporating significant planting areas and therefore saturated soil the building required investigation of the weight loads that would go into these areas. Spreading the planted areas around the perimeter of the space really evened out those heavier loads however and there were no points of extreme weight that would have caused an issue. One area was left free of the custom planter however in order to allow for sunbathing and reaching the parapet wall to offer maximum views of the surrounding vistas. Another element of privacy was incorporated through the use of the pergola over the dining area. Creating a ceiling over the diners that would conceal them from the onlookers in the units above the terrace. Incorporating a built structure of this height caused concern for the building and an engineer and special permit was required in order to attach the structure to the building itself. This requirement proved an enormous logistical challenge, but ultimately was well worth the efforts and cost. The aluminum posts that are visible above the IPE deck have custom feet that sit on the roof membrane and are attached to the concrete roof slab with stainless steel wedge bolts in order to secure the structure against high winds. The addition of the metal material to the roof top provides variations and enriches the overall look of the space.

Roosevelt Island Rooftop Terrace

To make the terrace a usable extension of the interiors, rooms were created with specific programs and features. As you enter the terrace from the interior living room you step out onto the original concrete pavers issued to all exteriors of new constructions in the area. To your left is a small sitting area where a morning coffee and reading of the paper might be enjoyed. Moving forward into the space you step up onto an IPE deck which houses the kitchen and dining areas for the outdoors. The 8-person dining table sits below the custom aluminum and cedar pergola built into the deck and rooftop, and to your left is an ‘L’ shaped outdoor kitchen with an electric grill (gas and propane were restricted by building and city codes), bar sink and ice chest, refrigerator, and stainless steel cabinetry. The kitchen is veneered in a natural, stacked-stone and the counter is a custom poured and tinted concrete. The counter extends over the northern side of the kitchen to create a bar with ample space for seating and entertaining while grilling is taking place. As you continue north through the space you step down again onto the original concrete pavers – the deck was maintained in the central area of the terrace in order to keep it from the reaching the parapet and exceeding the minimum 42″ height requirement. To your right is an open, sun-filled space for sunbathing and experiencing the surrounding views. To the left is the living area of the terrace with cushy, sectional seating and a custom built-in bench with shading pergola overhead. In time the posts and beams of the bench pergola will be covered in Trumpet Vines offering shade and additional privacy during the warmer seasons.

Roosevelt Island Rooftop TerraceIn addition to the requirements associated with the pergola, deck, and kitchen appliances the designer also had to consider and plan for window washing operations that take place biannually on the terrace. Access to nearly every point along the perimeter had to be maintained in order for 1 man and a window washing basket with rope and pulley system to have room to work and move along. Therefore every landscape/built feature was brought inward 15″ from the railing. Unfortunately this decreased the usable footprint of the space for the homeowners, but ultimately was minimal in what it took away from the overall design goals. Privacy from the northern neighbors and the eyes overhead were still achieved. Various rooms were implemented allowing for an extension of the indoors and maximum use of the space. Views of Manhattan and Queens were maintained to the east and west providing a unique and awesome experience of the city surrounding this Roosevelt Island Oasis.

LINLA Awards Dinner

Some of our recent work has been recognized and we have received awards and notable recognition from several established landscape institutions!

“GREAT TURNOUT”

LINLA Awards DinnerOn a cold winter’s night in January, dressed in our finest, we joined other professional landscape design firms and nursery men for the annual LINLA awards dinner. LINLA, the Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association, is a New York State wide professional trade association started in the 1960’s.

kokobo happily won the bronze prize for each of the two entries submitted this year – competing in a field with many other seasoned professionals.

kokobo’s submissions this year were in direct contrast to each other. A lofty midtown rooftop was transformed into a chic, minimalist New York terrace. It was designed as an extension of the interior living space with bird’s eye panoramic views of Manhattan, making it ideal for hosting parties!

The other award-winning project was on Roosevelt Island; this 10th floor terrace with wonderful views of the East River/LIC/the Ed Koch Bridge and NYC is owned by a young couple looking for space to relax after long days in the office and lots of business travels. Not only were the clients’ desires different, the spaces each had their own unique character: the midtown rooftop offered a narrow U-shaped area with privacy from around and above, verses a larger open square on Roosevelt Island needing privacy from neighbors above and across the way.

Now, back to our “night out”. The evening was informative as well as fun. During the cocktail hour, we were able to view all the competitive portfolios, sans names of company or client of the various projects presented so that all feedback from judges could be viewed. As dinner was served, a wonderful slideshow and commentary was provided highlighting all of the winner’s projects with amazing before and after pictures as well as detailed construction pictures showing all of the challenges and intricate steps required to complete the incredible projects. It was nice to hear the ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ when photos of the spaces designed and built by kokobo were shown; the night shots highlighting the landscape lighting were especially admired! The room was buzzing with creative thoughts and note-taking for inspiration on future projects.

LINLA Awards Dinner

kokobo’s team accepts one of the awards

Great turn-out! Nice to have all the landscape design/build people under one roof taking some time off from working, getting to know each other and seeing each others work.
-Irena Romovack, kokobo designer

It was a fun evening and great to see familiar faces. The award-winning projects displayed a depth and diversity of designs and applications. It’s thrilling to see our work presented alongside such creative and talented designers.
-Kaylin Rostron, kokobo senior designer

This was my first time attending the LINLA Awards dinner and I really enjoyed it. It was great to see all the amazing designs from other companies and learning about the creativeness behind the designs. I hope to see everyone again next year at the LINLA Awards dinner.
-Zoe Chen, kokobo designer

Thank you for your valued support.

Sincerely,

Jean Galle
kokobo greenscapes, inc.