Many densely populated areas encounter a lack of space surrounding residential properties, with more homes than ever before not having a garden. Particularly in cities like London, rooftop gardens are becoming increasingly popular as they add value to a home as well as enhancing the functionality and expanding the useable space.
There are a number of factors to consider when creating functional outdoor spaces, including access to the space. Modern glazing systems from IQ Glass can be the perfect solution, offering rooftop access whilst allowing the internal living space below to benefit from tonnes of natural light when the system is closed. The M.A.R.S is designed to slide effortlessly to one side, with the appearance of a standard rooflight from the inside and when closed. The configuration options are extremely varied, with the ability to have a moving pane sliding over a fixed one to gain even more natural light.
Another option is the H.E.R.A, which is a sliding box rooflight from the same product family as M.A.R.S. Both the M.A.R.S and H.E.R.A automated rooflights have a range of technical integrations that make them perfectly suited to modern rooftop gardens, including soft-close mechanisms and quiet, concealed motors. The rooflight systems can even be remotely checked for faults, via the cloud, in the event of a problem. As well as offering rooftop access to sky gardens, the systems create highly ventilated living spaces wherever they are specified.
When specifying a rooflight system, whether it is being used for access or not, solar shading may be a consideration as the glazing is overhead. Grants Blinds are experts in the field, constantly developing new and bespoke blind systems to accompany minimally framed glazing. The concealed blind systems are completely undetectable when open, hidden within the ceiling finishes, and revealing themselves at the click of a button.
The control of the rooflight system, along with the blinds, can be integrated to work as part of a complete smart home system. IndigoZest are leaders in the smart home automation field and can create complete smart home systems that are specifically tailored to suit the homeowners needs. This means that the rooflight, blinds, and more can all be automated or controlled via a central smart hub or smartphone app.
Roof access aside, you want to consider what the space will be used for. If you enjoy entertaining or have a love for cooking, outdoor kitchens can be specified with a modular approach to ensure the size of the kitchen is perfect for the space. The range of sleek outdoor kitchens from Cubic Outdoor Kitchens are on display at the design centre, for designers and specifiers to experience properly before embarking on a project. Cubic Outdoor Kitchens even have an outdoor pantry, which can be used for storing outdoor cooking equipment and dry foods all year round, thanks to the fully weatherproof and watertight design. One huge benefit of the outdoor pantry is that it eliminates the need for traveling between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing homeowners to relax when entertaining guests and spend more time outdoors.
A louvre roof system is a great way to introduce solar shading to rooftop gardens. The IQ Louvre roof system can be freestanding or fixed to the side of a building with two supporting posts, depending on the nature of the space. The aluminium louvres are fully adjustable and can be automated to reflect the sun's position throughout the day or integrated to automatically open and close with a smart home system. As well as shading, the louvre roof offers peace of mind in the event of rain as the roof is completely watertight when closed.
To create a focal point or make a design statement, consider an outside fire solution. You can specify a fire table, fire pit or bespoke fireplace from the Urban Outdoors range. Each solution is designed to withstand the harsher conditions encountered outside and can be specified in a range of designs, materials, and colours to match or contrast the surrounding aesthetic. As well as adding to the design, outdoor fire solutions act as heaters and can make the space functional throughout the evenings and even the colder months.
If you would like to talk to us about getting started on a rooftop garden design, or you would like to visit the showroom to see some of the systems we’ve mentioned in this article, get in touch with us here.