Bringing Life to the Urban Environment
by Christina Gaona

For those living in urban high-rise apartments and modern architecture homes,
a rooftop terrace garden is a seamless way to incorporate natural elements into
a modern designed building by inverting the idea of traditional modern landscape.
Rather than creating a modern landscape design, in which man made materials
like concrete and metal are integrated into existing exterior landscapes, modern
terrace gardens bring the softness and lush colors of naturally occurring materials
and plants into a stationary, modern-designed space. These finished exterior
spaces offer wonderfully unique perspectives of any city by re-contextualizing
urban-situated residences.
To pull the contemporary feel of a modern interior outdoors, minimalist
vegetation is a simple landscape design technique that both suits and
compliments any urban environment or modern architecture building.
Many modern terrace gardens showcase only green-colored shrubbery,
creating a clean and appealing contrast between touches of like
vegetation and an urban backdrop. Oftentimes, native plants – those
that are well adapted to a specific region’s climate and soil – are
featured in modern rooftop gardens for their low-maintenance
Landscape architects that are especially environmentally conscious will
incorporate water catchers that recycle rainwater into a design so as to
create a more efficiency-driven rooftop garden. Both are appropriate
choices for those who reside in efficiency driven modern homes and live
busy modern lifestyles.
Different combinations of shrubbery, natural stones, and wood create sense-provoking
responses to the variety of textures and round or linear shapes. Spacious rooftops can
accommodate multiple-level terrace gardens, further pushing the boundaries of
modern landscaping by creating new dimensions into which natural elements are
placed. For any modern outdoor garden, floor paneling, plant trellises, and outdoor
furniture are areas in which natural elements can be further incorporated into a
terrace garden.
Rich hardwood floors, teeming garden
boxes, and simple stone waterfalls
leave a viewer simultaneously aware
of the garden’s urban location and
captivated by the natural elements
imposed on the modern scenery.
Smart exterior designs will direct a
viewer’s attention to specific sites in
the surrounding cityscape by
strategically placing features like
lighting and vegetation.

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