Face to face with the skyline

Richard Brink fits penthouse with drainage channels

Taking indoor living outdoors – that was the aim in designing the 180 square metre outdoor areas of a city centre penthouse in the Rhine-Main region. By using a wide range of plants and combining materials like wood, stainless steel and natural stone, the designer created diverse outdoor areas that offer the residents of the new build plenty of living space under the open sky. To protect the terraces from the effects of precipitation and elegantly accentuate the transitions to the living area, landscape architect and construction foreman Jörg Schnabel chose to use custom-made Cubo drainage channels with designer Staccato cover gratings from Richard Brink.

High above the city’s rooftops in a developed, urban quarter sits a penthouse with a generous amount of outdoor space. As the terraces are spread over two levels and face several different directions, the residents can enjoy a varying range of views, not just of the city skyline but also of the older woods and green surroundings. Landscape architect and construction foreman Jörg Schnabel used targeted positioning of plants and objects on the terrace to frame these views. Building work on the roof terraces and balconies was carried out by the gardeners and landscapers from Immo Herbst GmbH.

Harmonious overall impact of the outdoor areas

Timber floorboards and natural stone slabs make up the floors of the terraces and balconies. Large awnings provide residents with shade and natural stone benches offer attractive seating as well as acting as a platform for different ornamental objects. Together with the water basin, which forms one unit with the adjacent plant tubs, a harmonious overall impact is achieved. To divide up the outdoor spaces or frame certain elements, the designer predominately chose sculptural plants and topiaries, some of which were placed freely in the space like works of art on display.

Living space under the open sky

Depending on their location, the outdoor spaces fulfil a variety of functions based on their adjacent living areas: private rooms open out to an area for relaxation, while the office features an outdoor reading space and the large terrace along the living area offers plenty of space for residents and guests to eat and lounge. In the design of the outdoor spaces of the penthouse, the lines of the interior are incorporated and continued in the form of tread plates and platforms. The carefully executed division of the space meets the aim of bringing indoor living outdoors. Atmospheric lighting at twilight also makes the interior living area seem visually larger and allows residents to benefit from generous outdoor space even in cold seasons.

Technical installations attractively designed

One challenge in designing the terraces in addition to logistical coordination was to get precisely-fitting installations. All technical requirements needed to be met in a discreet way. Required installations such as dewatering solutions were to match the high design quality of the entire project. Landscape architect and construction foreman Jörg Schnabel therefore chose the Cubo drainage channel and Staccato cover grating from Richard Brink. The company provided custom-made elements for the drainage system in order to ensure efficient dewatering of the total 180 square metres of outdoor space.

Floating stainless steel structure

Both the drainage channels and the cover gratings are furnished with a RAL 9005 jet black plastic coating. After the coating was applied, Richard Brink polished the tread surfaces of the grating to achieve the effect of a stainless steel structure that almost floats. The supporting base of the Cubo drainage channel is tilted inward, allowing the grating to lie completely in the cross-section of the channel and thereby facilitating the collection of larger amounts of precipitation. ‘What’s really special is the dark coating of the channel and the interplay with the polished surface, which makes the channel seem to draw back visually, while at the same time the structure and surface set a sophisticated accent,’ says Jörg Schnabel.

Custom-made drainage system

When it came to melding the indoor and outdoor spaces, it was important to the designer to install a threshold-free drainage system made of premium materials at the entrance to the living area. The dewatering solutions from Richard Brink GmbH & Co. KG meet this requirement. To avoid protrusions in the wooden floor, the façade channels had to be adapted to the size of the window reveals. Just under 50 metres of the custom-made product was used on the façade and the entrances to the living area. Falling precipitation is directed via the roof cladding to the roof inlets designed for drainage. Jörg Schnabel is very satisfied with the implementation: ‘Richard Brink delivers the technical products you need, and thanks to the versatile design and high quality of the products, they fit in very nicely with a premium design, accentuate the look and contribute to a harmonious overall impression.’

The designer used wood, stainless steel and natural stone to create a harmonious combination of materials.Custom-made Cubo drainage channels and designer Staccato cover gratings from Richard Brink protect the terraces from the effects of precipitation.Required installations such as dewatering solutions were to match the high design quality of the entire project.For a smooth transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces, it was important to the designer to install a threshold-free drainage system made of premium materials at the entrance to the living area.