Garden in the sky; among the high rises in the River North area of Chicago a new roof top terrace has bloomed.
Per the direction of the client, Jacobs Ryan Associates was asked to create something special out of a bland, 12,000 square foot pool terrace; a design that would maximize the potential of the space for residents and assist the Owner in promoting the building and increase occupancy. It was also a request of the client that the newly completed terrace open by Memorial Day 2009; a lofty challenge considering construction did not commence until March of 2009.
The new design used sinuous lines, exotic hardwoods and vertical structure to create spaces for both passive and active enjoyment. The pool deck was enlarged to create more space for lounge chairs, while ipe planters add lush vegetation and a splash of color. Three stainless steel, ipe and painted steel pergolas were constructed to shade guests using the barbeque kitchen, sitting at the built-in bar, and relaxing at the many bistro tables. A lounge area with comfortable furniture overlooks an extensive green roof where raised planters frame the cityscape beyond. Outside of the greenroof, ipe decking and fields of tan granite are accentuated by linear bands of gray slate that tie the site together. In the evening, holes in the pergola columns glow like rising champagne bubbles or falling starlight, and stainless steel fire bowls warm visitors on chilly evenings.
The terrace is used extensively by the residents. There are Yoga and Ti Chi lessons after work, swimming after dark and people typically come down to grill food and socialize until late in the evening. The terrace is the first thing the on-site management group shows prospective tenants and the building has increased its occupancy rate from 80% to 100% with a waiting list. Due to the extraordinary cooperation of all the team members and an enlightened client the project was completed in time for Memorial Day and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful terraces in the City of Chicago.