As the popularity of urban apartments rises, developers and architects are often looking for ways to make their buildings stand out. Elevating outdoor spaces is a wonderful way to add value for existing tenants and attract new residents.
While pools may be commonplace, the landscape around them is often overlooked and presents an opportunity to differentiate your building from the next. A lot of rooftop pool areas in high rise apartment communities receive limited design thought and material budgets. The thought has been, “Hey, we are offering a rooftop pool! Isn't that a big enough draw on its own? Do we really have to try much harder than that?” As a result, the spaces reserved for such areas are often cramped, and not much thought is given to how best to lay out amenities. The budget for materials is determined after the rest of the apartment building is already designed and priced, leaving little room for luxe finishes.
Currently, we’re teaming with TreanorHL on a pool terrace for Uptown Lofts that turns the typical model on its head. They asked us to create a rooftop amenity that would add value to the finished project, attracting and keeping residents. We wanted to show how a pool terrace could truly bring value to the overall project by attracting tenants and generating future revenue for the owners.
Together, we are elevating their outdoor pool area in a number of ways. We knew the developer wanted to see a pool, spa, fire pit and outdoor kitchen. In addition to those amenities, the entire terrace is ADA accessible, well shaded and pet-friendly. It was important to us to create a space that welcomes any and all residents and guests. We have selected affordable, but striking, modern materials for the pavement, walls, handrails and shade structure. Our intention is to make the space feel like a luxurious, hidden gem for the residents living in this community.
Future tenants will find the outdoor kitchen a particularly special amenity, because it features a couple of large grills, a sink, tons of counter space and shade. Here, they can connect with their neighbors, fostering a community within the building. The generous lawn area for dogs will stand out to pet owners looking to live on this otherwise urban and bustling corner of uptown Kansas City, Missouri.
Whether apartment owners are looking to create amenities at ground level or on a rooftop terrace, areas dedicated to yard games, like bocce ball, frisbee golf, or badminton, are also very popular. This project captures a lot of the mainstay trends like dog runs, fire pits and kitchens.
When it comes to upping the ante on your outdoor spaces, we recommend using these three, timeless design strategies:
- Offer shade: In the metro area, it’s important to deliver a place to stay cool.
- Provide access: Residents need to be able to easily get to and from the space and move around comfortably within it once they are there.
- Select long-lasting, beautiful materials: Choose materials that complement the surrounding architecture and give the area a sense of place, so that folks feel like they've arrived and can kick back, relax and have fun.
To create truly exceptional outdoor areas, bring landscape architects into the project as early as possible. Then, the entire project team can be thinking about how this amenity fits into the overall design and budget from day-one. For our work with Uptown Lofts, we were lucky to be a part of a team with lots of previous, rooftop pool experience. The architect, structural engineer and MEP engineer all collaborated closely with us from the schematic design phase all the way through construction documentation. That teamwork resulted in a design, which came in under budget. Overall construction of the project will begin this summer with the rooftop pool terrace expected to be built during the summer of 2020.