There is nothing quite like spending a summer evening on a rooftop. Away from the worries of our daily routines, being high above the ground has the power to elevate our moods and minds. Whether the rooftop serves as a restaurant location, a quiet city escape or a private pool – Taschen has compiled the most spectacular rooftops all over the world and lovingly dubbed them “Islands in the Sky”. Here are Sleek’s favourite ten.
SushiSamba, London, UK
Located on the 38th and 39th floor of the Heron Tower in east London, SushiSamba is an experimental sushi restaurant merging the influences of Japanese, Peruvian, Brazilian and English cuisine. With a 7.3 metre high arched latticed bamboo ceiling and offers a 360° panoramic view of the city, this restaurant takes you to sushi heaven.
Fichtebunker, Berlin, Germany
Built in 1876 as a gasholder to supply the lanterns of Berlin and converted into an air-raid shelter during WWII, the roof of the brick-built Fichtebunker now houses 13 flats with a garden each. Architect Dagmar Heitmann took the round surface of the bunker as a starting point to design round and radial open gardens which still provide privacy for each owner.
The Hills At Vallco, Cupertino, California, USA
The former Vallco Shopping Mall in Cupertino, California, is in the process of being transformed into a huge complex of apartment buildings and start-up offices. Scheduled to open sometime by 2025, the rooftops of the huge complex have already gotten a make-over. Inspired by the Cupertino foothills nearby, the green spaces are now used as a community park and a natural reserve which includes a six kilometres jogging trail, a vineyard and an amphitheatre.
Hedonistic Rooftop Penthouses, Copenhagen, Denmark
A missing garden within a triangular housing block in Copenhagen was the starting point of this project. The space was so dense that there was not enough room for any green spaces. So architects of JDS were commissioned to fill the lack, which led them to create penthouses on top of the buildings and gardens on their roofs. The Hedonistic Rooftop Penthouses are now combined with each other by a bridge and provide a recreational resting spot.
Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France
Designed by star architect Frank O. Gehry, the Louis Vuitton Foundation is located on the edge of the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the west of Paris. Due to its diversely shaped installations of 13.500 square metres of glass and its molded sheets of fibre-reinforced Ductal concrete, the building resembles a glass cloud and has been nicknamed the “Iceberg”.
House K, Hyogo, Japan
Located in a residential area in Japan’s province Hyogo, House K is an interconnection of the exterior and the interior, the natural and the artificial. Potted trees on the roof seem to be floating between big windows that give a climpse into the inside of the house. Additionally, there is a little shed on the roof which the owners refer to as a “small villa”.
Hypar Pavilion Lawn, New York, USA
There are several elevated green spaces that let you escape the hectic city life of New York, such as the famous High Line in Manhattan. The Hypar Pavilion Lawn is located a bit more north, on top of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts. Oriented away from the city noise, the lawn is strechted over a glass pavilion restaurant and serves as a resting and breathing spot.
House of the Infinite, Càdiz, Spain
With minimalism to infinity: The House of the Infinite, set right on the beach close to the Spanish city of Càdiz, blurs the boundaries of earthly limits. Its rooftop terrace, a vast and minimal surface, overlooks the endless sea and allows the mind to float off to the horizon. Architect Alberto Campo Baeza refers to the project as a mythological meeting place between humans and gods.
The Skypark on Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands complex takes the experience of swimming in a pool to a whole new level. The infinity pool stretches right to the edge of the terrace and overlooks the whole city. In addition, the Skypark, which is shaped like a yacht and combines three 55-metre high skyscrapers, features an infinity edge which is not for the light-hearted.
One Central Park, Sydney, Australia
Located on the site of a former brewery, the One Central Park is a complex of two buildings which are connected by a shared podium near the Central Business District of Sydney. The architects Nouvel and Patrick Blanc designed the green spaces vertically, planting creepers and climbing plants that run up and down the walls of the buildings. Covering 50% of the buildings’ facades, their strategic positioning provides shade in the summer and stores sunlight in the winter.