10 Modern Rooftops For Summer Relaxing and Entertaining

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By Gabrielle Golenda
With the weekend coming up and summer on our minds, the thought of relaxing on a rooftop is tempting, and inevitably magnetic. This is especially true if the rooftop is well-designed and accompanied by picturesque views.

From a residential rooftop with several outdoor gardening spaces to a supportive housing building in the Bronx with a green roof, we've compiled 10 examples of relaxing rooftop designs that offer a scenic refuge.

A Roof For Gardening in Canada

On the lower roof, cedar decking and flower beds define one of several outdoor gardening spaces. Part of her ongoing research into the livability of cities, Fitzgerald aimed to create landscaped areas that were "aesthetic, aromatic, educational, and productive." The deck is bordered by an expanded aluminum mesh railing and black metal corrugated panels.

On the lower roof, cedar decking and flower beds define one of several outdoor gardening spaces. Part of her ongoing research into the livability of cities, Fitzgerald aimed to create landscaped areas that were "aesthetic, aromatic, educational, and productive." The deck is bordered by an expanded aluminum mesh railing and black metal corrugated panels.

The hydroponic rooftop garden grows out of volcanic stones. The home is conceived as a giant C-shaped spiral.

The hydroponic rooftop garden grows out of volcanic stones. The home is conceived as a giant C-shaped spiral.

A Fermob table and chairs are on the rooftop terrace. "The weather is unpredictable, to say the least. You want to be outside but you don’t want to sit in the middle of a gale," says Duncanson. "But [at this house] you can always find a place that’s quiet."

A Fermob table and chairs are on the rooftop terrace. "The weather is unpredictable, to say the least. You want to be outside but you don’t want to sit in the middle of a gale," says Duncanson. "But [at this house] you can always find a place that’s quiet."

"We have all these different destinations," says Sardinas, a writer who works from her home office. "I’ll be working, get stuck on a passage, and take a break to go read outside." On the lower roof, red Vegetal chairs by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec for Vitra provide moments for repose.

"We have all these different destinations," says Sardinas, a writer who works from her home office. "I’ll be working, get stuck on a passage, and take a break to go read outside." On the lower roof, red Vegetal chairs by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec for Vitra provide moments for repose.

A rooftop oasis furthers the outdoor connection. It's planted with red fescue at the client's request for a wild and unmaintained look and an experience akin to "walking through a field."

A rooftop oasis furthers the outdoor connection. It's planted with red fescue at the client's request for a wild and unmaintained look and an experience akin to "walking through a field."

The roof became the perfect location for their vegetable garden, as well as benches and a recreation space crowned by a hot tub powered by a four-kilowatt solar array.

The roof became the perfect location for their vegetable garden, as well as benches and a recreation space crowned by a hot tub powered by a four-kilowatt solar array.

"In this project, we got so much benefit out of this "secret garden" for the master suite along with all of these environmental benefits that the residents were excited to embrace. It's one of the pieces we are happiest about," says Feldman. 

"In this project, we got so much benefit out of this "secret garden" for the master suite along with all of these environmental benefits that the residents were excited to embrace. It's one of the pieces we are happiest about," says Feldman. 

The Brook, a supportive housing building in the Bronx, occupies what had, for years, been a vacant lot. The green roof, pictured here, is one of a number of LEED-driven elements.

The Brook, a supportive housing building in the Bronx, occupies what had, for years, been a vacant lot. The green roof, pictured here, is one of a number of LEED-driven elements.

The roof deck is a place for entertaining, and offers scenic hillside views. During the design process, the team was challenged with preserving these views while adhering to the required 3.5-foot railing height mandated by building code, a height that would block all views while seated. As a solution, the team came up with open metal railings that would maintain safety while preserving the view.

The roof deck is a place for entertaining, and offers scenic hillside views. During the design process, the team was challenged with preserving these views while adhering to the required 3.5-foot railing height mandated by building code, a height that would block all views while seated. As a solution, the team came up with open metal railings that would maintain safety while preserving the view.

Two Harry Bertoia-designed chairs sit on the main third-story deck, which includes a hidden green roof that absorbs rainwater, cools the upper floors, and purifies the air. "It’s a nice little oasis on the roof, with plants that bloom at different times of year. The owners love spending time up there," Dubbeldam says.

Two Harry Bertoia-designed chairs sit on the main third-story deck, which includes a hidden green roof that absorbs rainwater, cools the upper floors, and purifies the air. "It’s a nice little oasis on the roof, with plants that bloom at different times of year. The owners love spending time up there," Dubbeldam says.

Shop For Your Modern Rooftop

EcoSmart Fire Mix Fire Bowl
EcoSmart Fire Mix Fire Bowl
Mix up the atmosphere of your courtyard, deck or patio with the EcoSmart Fire Mix Fire Bowl. This contemporary take on the outdoor fire pit is made out of durable yet lightweight fiberglass-reinforced concrete.
Nemo Equipment Cloudview Hammock
Nemo Equipment Cloudview Hammock
The perfect chill out hammock designed to let in the...
Innit Designs Acapulco Chair
Innit Designs Acapulco Chair
The Innit Designs Acapulco Chair is cool in more ways than one. Based on the original 1950s design, it has an open and airy yet ergonomic and supportive open weave vinyl seat inspired by traditional Mayan hammock weaving techniques.
RS# Folding Ping Pong Table by RS Barcelona
RS# Folding Ping Pong Table by RS Barcelona
The RS Barcelona RS# Folding Ping Pong Table is the perfect solution for the table tennis player with limited space. This full-sized and fully functional table features an HPL top and Iroko wood legs (both of which are safe for outdoor use).
Dish of Desire Bird Feeder
Dish of Desire Bird Feeder
Treat your furry and feathered friends to a multi-course meal by adding food to each level of the feeder. Crafted from durable red cedar and aluminum, this simple design is clever, playful and functional, too.
Audio Pro T3 Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Audio Pro T3 Portable Bluetooth Speakers
The Audio Pro T3 is a true beauty and brains type of one-two punch. Meaning, it not only elevates your whole decor while it patiently sits on the coffee table — but it also packs a surprisingly detailed, room-filling sound into a speaker small enough to bring along in a backpack.
Windfall Outdoor Wall Light from LBL Lighting
Windfall Outdoor Wall Light from LBL Lighting
Crisp lines and a slim profile combine in the Windfall Outdoor Wall Light to create a clean modern look. The indirect light bounces off the smooth, matte finish of the back plate to give off a beautiful glow.
Delano Planter by Crescent Garden
Delano Planter by Crescent Garden
Serve up a big bowlful of modern design--along with plants--with the Crescent Garden Delano Planter. It is large bowl-shaped planter made out of rotation molded polymer resin.
Bold Stripe Shag Indoor / Outdoor Mat by Chilewich
Bold Stripe Shag Indoor / Outdoor Mat by Chilewich
Show your stripes indoors and out with the Chilewich Bold Stripe Shag Indoor / Outdoor Mat. It features thick bright stripes and a cushy texture made out of specially tufted vinyl yarns. Use in the bathroom, entryway or on the patio for a durably fashionable look.