With space at such a premium in the capital, it’s little wonder so many people are turning their rooftops into useable outside spaces, often creating cool and calm retreats from the bustle of London life. Many are increasingly viewing roof terraces as extensions of their home interior - an extra space for entertaining, dining, or just simply relaxing whilst having striking views over the city.
Great roof terrace designs are as much about what you don’t see as what you do. Screening vents, hiding less appealing views and minimising the impact of unattractive walls are all common terrace design challenges in the capital.
There are further major considerations for roof terraces in the centre of London. The aim should be to balance the overall terrace design with the views, privacy, the preferred planting and wind factors. Much of this begins with understanding the precise location of a property, both in terms of the vistas and wind directions at play, and also how surrounding buildings are used. For example, you may be overlooked by a large building, but you may not need to screen it off if it’s an office building and you plan only to use your terrace for evening and weekend entertaining.
If you’re considering investing in a roof terrace, it’s crucial to work with experts who have proven track records of understanding the technical issues. Whoever you choose to undertake works should also be conversant with all Health and Safety Regulations, be fully insured and be prepared to undertake structural engineer reports.
Temperatures are soaring this summer across the UK, and Londoners with roof terraces are reaping the benefits of having their own space to sunbathe and unwind without the need to jump on a plane.
A four storey mews house, currently on the market with Dexters South Kensington & Knightsbridge, has a spacious decked roof terrace with the added luxury of a Jacuzzi and wall mounted television. The property provides a perfect example of the ways in which every inch of space can be utilised to create a comfortable and secluded outdoor area that can be enjoyed all year round.
Some may opt for a more simplistic and open design such as the terrace of a Grade II Listed Georgian townhouse located on Craven Street, round the corner from Embankment. The metal railings surrounding the roof keep it in line with the building’s period features and allow for a spectacular view of the London Eye which can be seen whilst sitting at the outdoor table or al fresco dining.
‘Properties with roof terraces in the capital often have impressive views of London Landmarks or the skyline and come at a premium,’ says Lazarus Demetriou Director of Dexters Fitzrovia & Covent Garden. ‘Utilising roof space is increasingly popular as many want to recreate their interiors outside. This can be anything from an outdoor kitchen and fireplaces to al fresco bars and dining rooms all with the purpose of entertaining.’