Glazing applications for office rooftop recreational areas

How to enhance an office rooftop recreational area design with bespoke glazing solutions 

Since the pandemic, many business owners have looked to revitalise their rooftop spaces, previously only used for water tanks and cooling towers, to create modern rooftop recreational areas for their employees to use. 

This has made these rooftop spaces an essential element of any well-positioned office building. Giving employees a space to relax, get some fresh air and relax is essential.  

IQ Projects specialise in commercial projects that push architectural boundaries, with new glazing applications and architectural styles being developed all the time to meet complicated briefs.  

There are many ways to create office rooftop recreational areas. Utilising the latest advances in modern glazing technology to create installations that are functional without compromising on contemporary and minimal design, this can enhance the design of the rooftop space.  


Rooftop Recreational Design for Offices 

minimally framed glass walls leading to outdoor office recreational area

Many offices are looking to utilise their rooftop space to create a space for employees to relax and bond.

Rethinking urban rooftop spaces to give employees an outdoor space to relax has many benefits such as a boost in productivity, reduced stress levels and improved employee relationships

Some of these rooftop designs are enclosed, often with large glass boxes or glass roofs, allowing them to be used come wind, rain or shine, and some spaces are designed to be completely open to give the space a strong connection to the outdoors, something proven to help people feel more relaxed.  

Whatever the design of the space and whichever elements are included, such as a bar or modern seating, IQ’s specialist glazing can help to create the ultimate rooftop recreational area for any office. 


Office Rooftop Areas That Can Be Used All Year Round   

If rooftops spaces are left open and exposed to their elements, they can become unable in with colder months or when it rains. 

rooftop office recreational area in LondonOne was to create a rooftop recreational area that can be used at any time of the year is by incorporating a retractable glass roof into the design. The advantage of incorporating the retractable glass roof is the flexibility for ventilation based on desire, they also allow high levels of natural light as well as protect the exterior space from seasonal weathering. 

In harsh weather, the roof can be closed with the thermally broken aluminium framing helping to maintain a comfortable internal temperature. In the warmer months, the roof can be opened, allowing the rooftop space to be merged with the outdoors and allowing air to flow through the space freely.  

This highly engineered system has optimum performance levels and can reach impressively large dimensions. Specially engineered sealing gaskets were designed for the retractable glass roof system to ensure complete water tightness and protection against the elements. The automated, sliding glass panes are powered by actuators with state of the art motors and retract with ease to allow the space to be completely opened up and merged with nature.  

IQ recommends specifying glass roof solutions at a gentle angle to prevent any water pooling, especially for any opening roof solutions where the water could drip down into the space below when it is opened. 


automated acess rooflight for rooftop office recreational areaAccess Rooflights for Rooftop Spaces    

When considering roof terrace entrance design it is important to read the space, if the rooftop is on a higher level than the highest floor it’s useful to consider automated roof lights which double as access to floors above. The system is fully thermally broken to ensure comfortable living temperatures are achieved in the spaces below all year round.  

As well as providing access to roof gardens, the automated sliding rooflight systems can be specified in a bi-parting configuration, or in sliding over fixed configuration. The smooth sliding motion of access rooflights uses high specification motors based on the glass ratios, Flexibility in the design allows the sliding rooflights to act either as a design feature or blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment.  

Our ARES automated venting rooflight, MARS sliding rooflight and HERA sliding box rooflight solutions can all be specified as access rooflights, and the flexible design of these automated rooflight systems allows them to be designed to meet specific project requirements.  

Access rooflights can be controlled by a simple wall switch, or by remote control, keypad, or smartphone. IQ’s access rooflights can also be integrated with Building Management Systems (BMS), operating alongside other smart technologies; these options for control are great for office recreational areas due to specified control method, larger office spaces may want automation to be controlled via whole office maintenance or whether the control will be more personal and controlled using something as minimal as a wall switch.  


Structural Glazing for Recreational Rooftop Designs  

Structural glazing solutions have various design options available based on the bespoke nature of the project. Glass box extensions for office rooftop recreational areas can be used for a myriad of different applications and use, and as space for development becomes scarcer in the major UK cities there has been a great increase in projects featuring rooftop glass boxes and glass extensions, especially in office recreational areas.  

Structural glazing was used on Phase 2 of Savile Row, the 3-storey commercial building was transformed in its entirety with the use of modern architectural glazing, including a grand rooftop extension offering outstanding views across London’s landscape. 

Slim sliding door solutions were used in the rooftop glass extension, the entire door slides away into a concealed pocket adjacent to the construction yet hidden within the structure of the building. This results in a completely open aperture with minimal visible framing.  


Slim Framed Sliding Doors for Office Rooftop Designs 

Incorporating slim framed sliding doors improves light intake into any rooftop space, these transition solutions create watertight access to the exterior rooftop terraces. The advantage ofrender or sliding doors for office recreational area minimally framed sliding door systems is the flexibility based on the function which can be designed to have varied sliding panes or in bi-parting or open corner configurations.  

Based on the exterior/interior terrace design bespoke solutions can be catered for the ultimate function, sliding doors can also be used to create exit ways to limited exterior spaces which provide office workers with easy access to the balcony to be able to appreciate the incredible views from outside the office.  

Office spaces with small external balconies or terraces can ensure the doors to these areas are able to be opened wide. Sliding doors are the perfect solution for wide openings and allow a large amount of ventilation when open. Another advantage is that modern sliding systems are at the flush floor level, ensuring workplaces are still accessible. 


London office with rooftop recreational areaGlass Balustrades for Safety and Views  

Every recreational rooftop design needs some type of safety barrier around the edge to protect those within the space. Some designs use brick, some use metal balustrades and some opt for glass balustrades. 

Frameless glass balustrades would be the best option for these rooftop spaces as they do not block the flow of natural light of views of the surrounding area. If privacy is a concern these balustrades can be sandblasted or specified with decorative interlayers that partially obstruct views whilst will allowing natural light through.  

Glass can be engineered to create a frameless glass balcony that can be specified with a range of base fixing options to suit the design of the rooftop space. This design flexibility creates opportunities for bespoke

 balustrade solutions to be applied to any project. Glass balustrades are the perfect application for office recreational rooftops, to maximize space and allow for the views around the rooftop to be enjoyed when relaxing.  


Privacy and Shading for Office Rooftop Recreational Areas 

If there are taller buildings around and privacy is a concern, or if the strong sun’s rays are an issue, IQ also offers various canopy and louvre roof systems that can be incorporated into a bespoke glazing package for recreational areas on office rooftops. 

Typically, these recreational spaces are placed on the top of larger office buildings which means the sun exposure is prolonged compared to internal spaces, applying solutions such as a louvre roof is a perfect installation for controlling the climate of your indoor and outdoor living areas. The fully automated louvres within the aluminium pergola structure can be turned up to 140° which allows you to control heat and light penetrating through. 

For more information on how specialist glazing solutions can enhance the design of your rooftop recreational area, contact the IQ team today.

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Chloe Thompson

After completing her undergrad degree in Interior design, Chloe decided to join the architectural glazing industry and now works on social media strategies, writes content and manages the day to day marketing for IQ's commercial division.

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