Nouvelle at Natick, Natick, MA, USA

Location: Natick, MA, USA
Client: General Growth Properties
Size: 34,850 square feet
Status: Completed 2008
Awards: BSLA Award 2012

The rooftop deck of the residences at the Natick Mall has been designed to be experienced spatially and visually: there are shifting views and rich colors as one walks through and the rooftop as a whole presents a strong and clear graphic identity for those viewing the roof from their apartments above. The deck is located at the sixth floor level of the Residences, above the mall, and in between the mall skylight, residence amenity space, and individual condominium units.

The rooftop functions as a social space, connecting the residences and encouraging interaction between neighbors. A meandering, composite wood path of gracefully curved forms weaves across the expansive roof and filters out into seating areas nestled in hedges. Deciduous trees act as living screens, providing shade and vertical interest as they shift with the wind.

The curves of the path embrace large round planters of corten steel containing a mixture of ornamental grasses, flowering perennials, and evergreen shrubs. A lively pattern of alternating stone and sedum ribbons form a context for the curving path and planters. At either end of the roof deck, the path transforms into a series of stepping platforms, shifting from the steady experience of the continuous decking into an exploratory walk within the sedum and stones. A series of small circular fountains of colored crushed glass punctuates the walkway for an element of surprise. Two large circles, at the scale of the planters, serve as putting greens, making space for active recreation. Additionally, there are large circles of stonework, echoing the materials used in the landscape entryway of the mall on ground level.

Two extensions of the roof deck allocate private space to apartments at a plus 4 foot level. Together, the rooftop decks provide for social connectivity among the residents, opportunities for relaxation, and an engaging visual experience when viewed from above.