BEHIND THE DESIGN
Working closely with the homeowners, architects and contractors, Pate LA created outdoor spaces for relaxing and entertaining on a private roof deck in the Back Bay. The project consisted of two smaller existing roof decks being redesigned and construction as well as a newly created larger roof deck for additional lounging and entertaining space.
The existing roof decks were designed with surrounding container plantings and appropriately scaled furniture that directly relates to the home’s interior living spaces. For the new roof deck, a three feet wide section of building brick wall was removed, providing access from the outdoor dining area. The new large roof deck had even more expansive views of Boston and the Charles River, but many unsightly utilities and condensers that could not be relocated.
We designed a unique architectural railing (pictured above) that provided visual interest while screening the existing utilities and allowing adequate airflow to them. Having previously collaborated on another project, Kulin Modern worked with us in detailing and manufacturing the architectural railings. We designed a two-sized asymmetric honeycomb pattern, and Kulin Modern waterjet cut the 60/61 half-inch thick solid aluminum and then anodized all the aluminum components. Only the back bottom third of the railing has a frosted acrylic panel attached for additional screening and lighting effects. We included cut-outs in the acrylic to help with airflow to the venting utilities.
The LED lighting for the panels was designed for a wide range of effects and used in a way to illuminate the panels from the front and back. The back lighting was especially studied in our prototype to not spotlight the existing utilities behind. For simplicity, we preset the lighting controls in selecting different moods and effects based on how the client is using their spaces. The lower back lighting has LED RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, White) and can be just white or any color where we used a little white to soften the color.
We designed the rest of the spaces to allow for private reflection, a conversation spot for 6-8 people, and the flexibility for entertaining 50 people especially during the 4th of July fireworks.
Maintenance was considered from the beginning for all selected materials, furniture, shade structures and planting. The planting was designed for year-around interest, to frame views, provide privacy, be predominately a purple and silver color palette and compliment the historic Back Bay architecture.
[New England Home editorial text by Paula M. Bodah; www.nehomemag.com]