American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA 2007 Professional Awards
ASLA Home  | ASLA Honors and Awards  |  Call for Entries  |  Awards Jury  | Awards Press Release  |  News Room & Publications

<< back to main page

Plan of roof terrace. (Image: Sawyer/Berson)

Two sections of the roof terrace. The section at the top is a northern view of the penthouse loft to the left, the BBQ and outdoor shower area at the center and the pergola and dining area to the right. The section at the bottom is a southern view of the pergola and dining area to the left, the fountain at the center and the terrace lounge area to the right. (Image: Sawyer/Berson)

Typical planter and rail section in context with the structural steel decking frame and concrete paver installation. The section illustrates the metal construction of the planter and integrated rail, and the rigid fiberglass planter insert. (Image: Sawyer/Berson)

Contextual aerial view of the roof terrace project from the neighboring high-rise apartment building looking north. (Photo: Dana Gallagher)

View looking northwest from the dining area to the penthouse. The wood house tank is in view beyond the penthouse structure. (Photo: Bill Cunningham)

View from within the penthouse loft to the pergola and dining area at left, and the terrace lounge area at right. (Photo: Dana Gallagher)

View of the pergola and dining area with the eastern Manhattan skyline beyond. (Photo: Dana Gallagher)

Click here for printer-friendly version


Manhattan Roof Terrace, New York, New York
Sawyer/Berson Architecture & Landscape Architecture, LLP, New York, New York

"Beautifully resolved. It's simple, clean, and calm, but with an effective profusion of plants. The details and furnishings are fabulous. It looks like it would be well-used and much appreciated."

— 2007 Professional Awards Jury Comments

Project Statement

To create the setting for this 1,428 square foot roof terrace, an existing postmodern roof pavilion was demolished to make way for a modern architectural framework inspired by the works of American architect Paul Rudolph, and French architects Jean Prouvé and Pierre Chareau. A steel-framed platform was installed, onto which a program of garden elements were placed: a fountain, pergola and planters, as well as an outdoor kitchen and shower.

The custom cast concrete pavers, sandblasted glass panels, painted steel framework, and perforated stainless steel panels contrast with the lush plantings chosen for their color, texture, scent as well as hardiness to the extreme conditions of New York City roof tops.

Furnishings for the project are custom fabrications based on modern works, as well as furniture designer Chris Lehrecke, and accommodate the client’s entertainment activities on the terrace during the day or at night. Fabrics were chosen to compliment the plant palette, as well as for durability; they remain outdoors year-round.

Terrace Features
The terrace features include the lounge area, formal dining area covered by a pergola, granite and glass mosaic fountain, outdoor cooking and bar area, and an outdoor shower. Other elements include a site audio system, extensive lighting, and an electronic drip irrigation system. Also, six built-in infrared heaters were installed within the pergola structure to extend the outdoor dining season.

As a requirement by the building management company, the entire roof terrace improvement was designed to be disassembled and removed. The structural steel frame that supports the terrace paving, pergola, fountain, planters, and railing is anchored to four structural columns of the building.

Building Materials
Structural steel support framework for the paving system; custom concrete pavers; perforated stainless steel panels and painted steel framing for all the planters throughout the terrace, and the cabinets at the outdoor cooking and bar area; painted steel and stainless steel railings; perforated stainless steel wall system surrounding the outdoor shower; black honed granite for the bar, dining table top and fountain exterior; and, non iridescent black glass mosaic tile for the fountain. The pots are custom fabricated color integrated cast stone, and all furnishings are also custom fabrications.

Garden Size
Terrace Paved Area = 1,100 sf
Terrace Planter Area = 328 sf
Total Terrace Area = 1,428 sf
Upper Penthouse Area = 388 sf
Total Terrace and Upper Penthouse Area = 1,816 sf

Project Resources

Landscape Architect:
Sawyer/Berson Architecture & Landscape Architecture, LLP
J. Brian Sawyer, ASLA (Principal)
Tim J. Orlando, ASLA (Associate/Project Manager)

Architecture for Penthouse Renovation:
Pierce Allen

Terrace Lighting Design:
Fisher Marantz Stone

Structural Engineering :
Gilsanz, Murray and Steficek

Roofing Consultant:
Walter B. Melvin, Architect

General Contractor:
Regele Builders, Inc.

Metal Fabricator:
Kern Rockenfeld

Landscape Contractors:
Whitmores Landscaping
Roger Miller Gardens LLC

Irrigation Contractor:
Potenzano Irrigation

Landscape Maintenance Contractor:
Roger Miller Gardens LLC


Western view of the terrace lounge. All the furnishings for the lounge area and the dining area were designed and custom fabricated specifically for the project. (Photo: Dana Gallagher)

Evening view of the dining area and pergola from the terrace lounge area. This view is facing east. Full length frosted glass panels are installed at the north wall bordering the dining space and are illuminated. The pergola is equipped with down lighting to illuminate the dining table, retractable sun shading, infrared heaters, and stainless steel grid panels to support vine coverage. (Photo: Bill Cunningham)

Detail of the outdoor shower enclosure and furnishings. (Photo: Bill Cunningham)

Detail of the marble and glass mosaic fountain, and the railing to the top right. The fountain has built in lighting, and the pumping equipment is located in the void space between the pavers and the roof membrane. (Photo: Bill Cunningham)

View of the outdoor cooking and bar area with the distant northern view of the Manhattan skyline. (Photo: Dana Gallagher)

Close-up view of the plantings and furnishings adjacent to the pergola and the enclosed shower. (Photo: Dana Gallagher)

ASLA Home  | ASLA Honors and Awards  |  Call for Entries  |  Awards Jury  | Awards Press Release  |  News Room & Publications