Guest post from Susan Quirke, Quirke McNamara Consultancy
This roof terrace is an urban oasis in the middle of bustling Islington.
The roof terrace is situated in a courtyard among offices and is the only residential space.
When I first saw the space it was unused and uncared for. As part of a mews house refurbishment overall I also wanted to do something with this space as it was the size of the whole top floor of the house and to have the chance to create something useable and creative was something I jumped at.
The views from the terrace are fantastic and the clients had just come back from Madrid and wanted something cutting edge similar to the beautiful hotel style roof terraces over there which have beautiful lighting and a real chill out vibe.
The roof terrace sits to one side of a courtyard so is a very peaceful space and gets very good sunlight throughout the day.
The clients wanted a relaxing green space where they could chill out and relax after work and on the weekends entertain. They also wanted to attract bees and have planting that isn’t high maintenance for their busy lifestyle.
Overall I wanted to create a dramatic urban oasis where the clients could relax and enjoy the scenery sitting among the chimney pots of North London. I also wanted to design the space using dramatic lighting to highlight the specific areas & so it’s useable in both the day and evening as I wanted to zone the space into four areas from a barbeque area, social main area, herb garden and sun lounger area at the back.
I clad the terrace in oak decking and I wanted to create a social seating area in the centre where I bespoke designed two curved bench seats facing each other illuminated at low level with rope LED.
The central seating is set off by a dramatic stainless steel water feature surrounded again by beautiful lighting in reds, burnt orange, greens and blues that cast light across the sculptural water feature.
Sculptural planting echo the architectural shape of the space and softer plants and flowers attract bees into the space. There is also a fruit and herb area where mint and parsley grow alongside peppers and lettuce.
I wanted to use the same decking oak to create as many features as possible so I created bespoke planters again set off with jewel like LED lighting in different colours illuminating the sculptural plants as well l as shining across the decking.
To break up the decking I inset beautiful slate slabs with lighting set into the slabs as a guide to the main feature in the centre. I also inset two artificial grass pieces to create an ever green area within the scheme.
I also designed a bespoke barbeque area with bench seating and table so the clients could entertain on the weekends. I also designed high trellis so that the plants can grow to create a more private area for the clients.
Overall the space fits perfectly with the client’s lifestyle and they are delighted with the different zones for different uses.