As the summer season begins, we thought of sharing some outdoor ideas to inspire your design choices. As a natural first step, we couldn’t resist the charms of a perfect rooftop design. In this newsletter, Base4 Senior Interior Designer, Luci Thompson, kicks off our two-part series on Rooftop Design.
An effective rooftop design attracts travelers and locals alike. It may be designed as a social hub or a place to relax—or both! Today I present some purposeful and distinctive elements that make it all happen. Remember, even the small details go a long way!
The Elements of Ambience
Good lighting is always the first step to setting the ambience. Stage your lighting with the following elements to turn up the X-factor of your rooftop!
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Relax the Moment: After a long day of work or traveling, the site of lush greenery can relax your guests immediately. Especially in dense urban areas, plants, vines, lawn, and even trees that reflect the best of your local geography enhance the mood. Your designer can choose the best combination of greenery that complement the wall colors and textures to stage the desired effect. Add some flowering plants for an Insta-worthy nook!
Take a Seat: Doing the seating right is half the battle. Designers keep in mind different demographics, often defined by age such as millennials, baby boomers, Gen Zers or travel types, such as leisure, business, solo, family, locals, and so on. Designing to diverse demographics determines the most desired and optimal seating arrangements.
Turn up the heat: Few things are cozier than sitting around a firepit as the sun sets. Even though some fire elements might not put out enough heat to keep people warm, the act of gathering around a fire— up high in the open air, surrounded by greenery, and overlooking the city—creates unforgettable moments.
The Functional Forms
Carefully choose and design specialized areas to make your cozy space a well-functioning common area!
Try dueling rooftop spaces for both communal and quiet times
Dive in: While firepits might be perfect as the sun goes down, a carefully engineered pool area will keep your guests entertained all day long. Numerous calculations and considerations go into putting together a perfect splash zone. In fact, at Base4 we analyze shadow patterns, assess unique space-planning needs, and visualize the scope of different structural designs for an edgy—and practical—look. (More on structural requirements for rooftop pools coming next week!)
Craft indulgence: Depending on your franchise and budget, a rooftop restaurant can be a good idea. You can also expand your F&B options to a casual café or even a chic shack—go alfresco for something economic and cool!
Quench the thirst: If one thing could be an instant crowd magnet, it would be a lively rooftop bar. You could go local and serve destination-specific juices and drinks or create some signature quenchers for extra fun! Alternatively, if you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere, a coffee or juice bar could be the way to go.
Make the connection: Conveniently placed power outlets and strong Wi-Fi connectivity are just as essential to your rooftop as to your lobby. While designing rooftops, we enhance guest experience by predicting typical behavior patterns to determine convenient plug-in zones all around.
Anything that creatively sets your hotel apart is going to generate some buzz!
Accentuate your rooftop views with complementing design
Go local: Your hotel interior designers can work with local artists to give your rooftop a truly authentic feel. My team works closely with art vendors to provide optimal art on the right budget. You may have murals or artwork commissioned, a themed F&B concept, or specialized decorations. These local elements enhance the genuine uniqueness of your hotel.
Produce something: Many hotels like the New York Hilton Midtown utilize their rooftops for beekeeping. Aside from being a guest attraction, this element also produces honey—which can be used for F&B and artisan products—and helps with pollination to keep the rooftop garden evergreen and breezy. You might consider growing local produce organically—perhaps through a soil-free farming method called hydroponics, as seen at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Truly unique, these types of features can make your hotel popular even with the local crowd!
Accentuate the surroundings: From a breathtaking rooftop view to awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets, all the hotel’s natural inspirations should be accentuated by the design elements so your guests can take in the moment. My interior design team imagines rooftop spaces that reflect the natural wonder of your local area and accentuates what is best about your city.
Open your doors to a wider demographic by hosting social gatherings that appeal to different kinds of visitors.
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Jazz it up: Music draws people in and sets the tone of your rooftop! Invite local musicians to play or plan a karaoke night—we can design special zones with acoustic balance for optimal sound. Alternatively, you might prefer more subtle, non-live music, which is when a good audio system can work the magic!
Make it happen: Your rooftop bar can make way for an occasional wine tasting session or frequent happy hour gathering. You could also host early morning yoga classes to offer wellness mornings. Some hotels partner with local businesses for other activities and offerings—the possibilities are endless. Be sure to involve your architect and interior designer in these plans early on, so that they can purposefully design the space.
Not all views or locations inspire design ideas. Base4 works with clients to not only accommodate customized needs but also provide consultation for discovering what works best for your area and guests. Our years of experience, vast vendor connections, and creative skills make us your one-stop shop for functional and wow-worthy rooftops. We know how to work within franchise standards to deliver the best.
If the above ideas inspire questions, feel free to get in touch!
Senior Interior Designer, Base4
Edited by Najook Pandya
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