This was a large roof terrace wrapping around three sides of a modern city apartment in Camden, North West London.
The significant glazing to the apartment takes advantage of the far-reaching views towards Hampstead Heath to the north-west and the City of London to the south-east and our clients wanted a garden they could be proud of from which to enjoy them.
The interior of the apartment had been finished to a high standard and our clients wanted the new garden to reflect this, as well as providing an exciting place in which to entertain and relax.
We replaced the existing, rather industrial-looking, metal balustrades with glass ones, which immediately created a far more sleek and contemporary look to the space. They also provide shelter to both people and plants, without restricting any light.
The balustrades all around the terrace are waist high, whilst the height at the north-eastern side is 2ms and the glass opaque, to obscure the rather ugly rooftop beyond.
In order to achieve the clean, contemporary feel, we rationalised the existing planting arrangements on the terrace and replaced some of the existing planters with larger ones. We kept the existing wooden cube planters, although they were rearranged, and added to them with a mixture of brushed steel ones, to match the fittings on the new balustrades, and some bright red fibre-glass ones to pick up on colours within the apartment. The planters of different heights, materials and colours add interest to the space.
Planting is quite hardy as the site is very exposed, however, as it is somewhat protected by the new balustrade system, the choice was pretty wide. We kept many of the existing plants and added to them provide year-round interest and colour. We used Azaleas, Callistemons, Dahlias, Lavender and grasses, as well as cloud form topiary. We also put in some Bamboo as a screen to hide the rather unattractive flats to the south-western side of the apartment. The finished scheme is harmonious, almost Japanese in character, with plenty of lush foliage, but also splashes of vibrant colour.
Additional herbs and other perfumed plants further enhance the scheme.
The large area to the north-west is where our clients do most of their evening entertaining, so it made sense to keep their dining table here and their casual seating.
To add interest, both whilst using the terrace, and from inside, we included a bespoke water feature in this area. It was made from the same red fibre-glass as some of the planters and is simple and contemporary in design.
Lighting adds an exciting dimension to the terrace, making it not only usable on summer evenings, but also visually accessible in the winter months. With inset lighting to the decking and up-lighting to the structural planting, red fibre-glass planters and water feature, the effects are dramatic. The use of different circuits allows a more subtle feel according to the mood and occasion.
You have the advantage of the city to the south being lit up at night however, so most of the lighting is concentrated on the northern side.