Though seemingly opposite environments, cities are a lot like rainforests. At ground level, the world is dank, dark, and full of predators. Inhabitants seeking fresh air, sunshine, and privacy have only one direction to go: up. So in the urban jungle, it’s only natural to build a “canopy” in the form of rooftop architecture. The popularity of rooftop amenities across residential, commercial, hospitality, and even health-care projects shows that’s exactly what’s happening. Examples abound. When it opened in 2016, the Goettsch Partners–designed Hilton LondonHouse Chicago hotel debuted the city’s only trilevel rooftop; crowning the historic London Guarantee Building, it features an indoor bar, an outdoor terrace, and private top-floor dining inside the original Beaux-Arts cupola. In 2015, Facebook moved into its corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California, with a nine-acre rooftop oasis that includes cafes, full-grown trees, “work cabanas,” and walking trails. And this summer, a 1.5-acre rooftop concert venue opened at New York’s Pier 17 in Lower Manhattan’s revitalized South Street Seaport.
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