Private Rooftop Garden Rotterdam

After a first attempt by another company the couple came to me for the design of their rooftop garden in Rotterdam. Technically their outdoor space is a balcony, but it feels much more like a rooftop garden, because the corner apartment covers two floors which leaves the outside ceilings over 6 meters in height. Their wishes for the space included a lounge and dining area, a bar keeping the river view intact, storage space and privacy and shade on the longer south facing side of the apartment. There are also some bottlenecks, the main entrance to the outdoors is one level higher and as one can imagine the wind on a location like this is challenging.

First I wanted to get the layout right. Depending on the situation and needs of the client, it is important that the way one moves through a site feels natural and has some sort of logic to it. The floor levels have to serve a purpose and during the design process I keep the multiple views and accessibility in mind. Because of this, the bar and dining area are closest to the stairs where the kitchen is and storage space is provided under the staircase. The different floor levels are altered to make more sense and the materials are mixed to create different areas and add a sense of warmth. Because a lounge area works best if it feels intimate and sheltered I designed a half open wooden outdoor space covered with climbers. Meticulously placed mirrors reflect the sky and light opposite the stairs. Seated inside, one overlooks a woodland path in between different types of wind resistant trees in big planters, which ends at a green house that serves multiple functions. The glass of the green house reflects the glass of the railing and it functions as a place for storage, seating and the propagating of plants. It creates a natural boundary with the neighbours as well. Next to the river view bar there is an extra build in seat surrounded by tough plants and shrubs, which are scattered over the garden and form a connecting thread in the design.

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