Not Gone With The Wind: How to Design Rooftop Spaces
For landlords of upscale apartments, attracting and keeping reliable tenants is an ongoing challenge. That’s why many multiresidential building owners are paying renewed interest to interior design, and developing shared public areas that are not only functional as community gathering spaces and places for lounging, but that also have a distinctive look that fits the character of the building.
In San Francisco, Kimberlee Colvin Interiors takes the idea of elevated public design to heart. In collaboration with the owners of 855 Brannan Apartments, the design team created a shared rooftop space overlooking the city. Featuring three distinct zones—bar, dining room, and conversation area with a glass-enclosed stone fire pit—the space was designed to give apartment renters a place to gather and relax at the end of a long day or on a lazy weekend afternoon, while enjoying stunning views of the Golden City.
To offset the industrial look of steel and concrete, colorful cushions were added, adding comfort to durability.
Because San Francisco’s weather is often windy and rainy, the outdoor furniture for 855 Brannan’s rooftop was chosen for its durability, weight, and ability to work with airflow. For most pieces, the designers selected teak and stainless steel, a classic all-weather combination that won’t crack, split, or rot under the city’s frequent changes in temperature and humidity. Tables vary in size from narrow triangular high-tops in the dining area to squat round coffee tables and elegant side tables in conversation spaces, perfect for holding a drink or a book while gazing out at the city. The chairs and stools all have slatted backs and seats, which allows the wind to pass through the furniture without carrying it away.
To offset the industrial look of all the steel and concrete, and to echo the warm cherry tone of the teak furniture, the designers added saffron-cushioned sofas on one side and a similarly spice-toned area rug under the community dining table. Oversized wood planters full of succulents line the perimeter, to bring a bit of the outdoors in (or up, as the case may be). A steel and painted-metal pergola offers a break from the sun, and casts eye-catching geometric shadows over the space. The overall effect is cozy and inviting, while also lending the space an easy, unfussy, and entirely modern feel.