McKinney York Architects


Urban Roof Deck

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With ample space to work, the McGarrah Jessee branding agency needed a space to play. An unused area of their building’s rooftop, nestled among skyscrapers, seemed just the place. The roof is divided into three zones – lawn, cantilevered shade canopy threaded through the existing building’s structure, and sculpture terrace – accommodating a range of uses, from swank SXSW events to quiet employee recharging.  The playful helipad theme sprung from the serendipitous discovery of the “Volkscopter” at a rural auto body shop, and perfectly captures the agency’s freewheeling spirit and penchant for the unexpected.

Leveraging these themes, the architecture employs unconventional, durable materials in inventive ways.  A mulched rubber tire drainage bed lines the perimeter, industrial fiberglass decking supports the helipad, and galvanized C-shaped steel studs do double duty as the canopy roof, sitting at the precise angle to shade users from the southern sun and shed rain to an adjacent roof.