Kips Bay Inside and Out - Rooftop View
Rounding out Kips Bay, we ascend to the rooftop. Before we look at how Hollander Design and Landscape Architects treated the outdoor space, it’s worth asking why outdoor environments are being featured at a decorator showhouse primarily known for celebrating the work of the best interior designers?
Before Hollander’s rooftop we retreated to Daniel Richards Design Urban Oasis, an outdoor courtyard connected to Suzzane Kasler’s sophisticated living room. Sawyer Berson Architecture, Landscape and Interiors connected their Petit Salon to a narrow terrace with a path winding through a manicured menagerie of green foliage.
So what's the case for interior design meddling with the outdoors?
Linked Indoor and Outdoor Environments
To begin, outdoor space is a natural progression of indoor space. That progression often begins as a form of protected outdoor space and can be expressed as a three-season room, four-season room, covered patio, or simply a form of shade structure as shown below. The rather abrupt, yet inherent relationship between outdoor space and indoor space is tamed by these variations in architectural coverings. Creating a softer, less harsh transition between the two, covered outdoor enviornments give your eyes time to adjust to natural light, they allow you to do more protected indoor-type activities but with the advantage of all your senses being invigorated by the beauty and benefits of nature.
Open and Expansive Space
For many, protected areas cermoniously evolve into more exposed outdoor living spaces. This gradual change is most cohesive when relating back to the exterior and interior architectural expression of a home. Open outdoor living space for homes is less restrictive than it's interior, yet with the guidance of design, it isn't so unrestricted that it's unruly. From here, you can see the stars - you're still home, but your perspective totally changes. And sometimes, perspective is just what we need when life is a grind.
Though more exposed to nature, these open outdoor areas can still be protected from onlookers through different means of privacy features. Above, a wood focal wall by New York Decks provides both shade and privacy for more intimate dining. Below, a row of zinc planters by Ore Inc. follows the path of the vertical wood screen where an outgrowth of plantings offers a natural shade canopy and a cooling effect for an otherwise heat-ridden rooftop patio.
This is New York City, and unless you're living in a drone-free zone, privacy has it's limits. Codes may also dictate appropriate heights and setbacks for privacy structures, so those are critical to understand before building. Here, tall and trailing plantings on the rooftop are welcome solutions for handling challenges of privacy and heat just as a true green roof would.
Natural, Wholesome Living
Home and garden are often inspired by one or the other. We depend on nature for resources and sustenance, and nature depends just as much on us to care for and replenish it, and so the interdependence of humans and nature have been and will be.
The nautilus-like form of the Spiral Jubilee Steamed Oak Bench by Gaze Burvill exemplifies that point, taking a form found in nature and applying it for human use. The spiral shape, a natural occurance is often associated with the golden mean or divine proportion having influenced art and architecture perhaps as early as the construction of ancient Egyptian pyramids and the Parthenon in Greece.
A reflective oculus-like sculpture interrupts the view of neighboring edifice with an image of blue sky above and behind. When facing north, the high rise fades into the background as this powerful focal point redirects attention back to nature and is only enhanced by the placement of outdoor seating.
The position and interplay of outdoor space to interiors make it a desirable inclusion at Kips Bay, and most anywhere else for that matter. And for that reason, we have designers who work across disciplines in architecture, landscape, and interiors.
As Hollander expertly demonstrates, interior design plays a role in connecting interior and exterior enviornments as a cohesive whole, expanding and opening a home while still preserving privacy and protection, and embracing nature to enrich and inspire wholesome living. So while it may seem counterintuitive for "interior" designers to be meddling in exterior expressions of design, it's not all that hard to see the relationships. There are of course, a complete new set of challenges involved in designing outdoors, but a interior designer who is trained, knowledgeable, and willing to collaborate with architects and landscape experts, is an important player in creating outdoor living spaces that are thoughtfully tailored to your lifestyle.
To revisit Kips Bay 2016, check out these earlier entries:
For more on Outdoor Living, check out our Designer Journal entries: