This is one of those jobs you dream about! Not to say it was an easy job to conquer, but we did it as a team, and learned a lot along the way as well. This rooftop landscaping project came to us as a referral from one of suppliers that we buy planters and outdoor furniture from, Twisted Elements, located in the lower level of the International Market Square in Minneapolis, MN. This homeowner went in looking for something out of the ordinary for his rooftop patio in Minneapolis. He really loved the custom metal designs that he saw in their showroom, but needed a landscape company to help conceptualize all the elements and bring it together as a whole. So, David Kopfmann went to the drawing board to create a functional space on this rather large L-shaped rooftop patio (approx. 500 square feet).
David met with the client back in August of 2016 and they discussed what the homwowner was looking for. His top priorities were:
- Shade for certain times of the day
- Protection from the wind
- Colorful plant material
- Seating area for entertaining
- Low voltage lighting
Since the homeowner had been to the Twisted Elements showroom and saw the metal by MetalSmith’s Design, David started sketching some furniture designs and trellis, to bring to their production studio in Bloomington, MN. It was great that they work with designers, like David, and will custom fabricate really anything that can be built with integrity.
David’s thoughts when designing the trellis, that they would be for functional purposes, as well as an element of art. He wanted to have removable screens made out of an all-weather mesh that the client could keep up when it was windy or sunny and remove them easily when they didn’t need them.
When choosing the planters, he wanted a very durable material that could with stand the harsh Minnesota temperatures and if needed could be moved more easily. We decided to go with 48” long x 18” wide x 36” high bronze planter from Tournesol, call the Wilshire planter. These fiberglass planters are lighter in weight and offer self-watering containers that fit inside, which is great for an area like a rooftop that wouldn’t have access to a water spigot or for someone that travels and doesn’t have the ability to water daily. This homeowner needed the self-watering containers because his career involves a lot of traveling and in most cases the containers only need to be filled up once per week.
The Whilshire planters created a few different functions:
- Wind Protection
- Plantings for Added Color
- Hide the Lighting Wire
The other planter we chose from Tournesol was the Aquarian 48” diameter x 24” high in a royal blue color. We placed these on the narrow, but long area of the rooftop deck. It was a great place to add a pop of color and interest since it wasn’t very functional. Inside each of the planters we had a custom metal trellis made for climbing plants to add height.
We installed low voltage lighting attaching one to each one of the curved trellis tops for entertaining and safety.
AND FINALLY THE REVEAL – FINISHED IMAGES
The metal furniture was designed out of steel and clear coated for rust protection. David choose steel for the weight of it since this rooftop can have high winds frequently. The table has a steel base with a travertine table top, from Orijin Stone, cut at a curve to soften up the straight lines of the Wilshire planters. For the bench, David found a reclaimed piece off wood for the bench which was fastened to a custom steel base.
This close up shows the heavy-duty screens that we had constructed with toggles for easy installation and removal.
This bench brings warmth to the space and an earthy element, which was lacking.
This image shows the seating area with the wind and sun screens removed. It’s a much need option for those Fall and Spring days when you want to feel the suns warmth.
Of course, the homeowner’s condo is surrounded by glass, so we wanted to make sure it didn’t completely block his view of the city, but enhance it. Who doesn’t love to look out and see plants and trees!