This downtown terrace consisted of a poured concrete roof surface and a long line of empty railing planters when we were approached to develop a design. Our client was partial to a bright, sunny “Mediterranean” feel in both materials and plants. The windy nature of the high-rise terrace mandated creation of a sheltered oasis where family dining and entertaining could take place.

The centerpiece of the installation is a cedar pergola with hinged folding doors to break the force of the wind while allowing light and air circulation. Gathered curtains can be extended along curtain rods to provide a second means of diffusing the intense summer sun while adding privacy. Night lighting lends a soft glow in the space, illuminating the wood detailing and providing enough ambient light for dining and entertaining activities.

On the terrace itself, ivory marble deckstone is complemented by flat, oval river stones in mixed sizes. Cool, lush planted elements and bright flowering baskets, all watered by automatic drip irrigation, add punch to the sun-drenched living area. Lounge seating, plush cushions and pillows, customized work surfaces and storage hutches enhance the usefulness and beauty of the space. As night falls, and hidden garden illumination appears, the oasis truly comes to life.