Design: Chicago Roof Deck | Photography: Dave Slivinski / Jill Buckner

When Jake Gazlay, Design Director of Chicago Roof Deck, was contacted to design a flexible outdoor space for a 7th floor penthouse in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, he was thrilled. “The client was especially excited to develop a one-of-a-kind entertainment space that celebrates the impressive city views,” he says. With True Residential outdoor appliances designated as a must, Gazlay says, the “rooftop became a wonderful extension of their living space.”

To create a space conducive to not only entertaining large groups but to also serve as an area for intimate gatherings, the Chicago Roof Deck team worked hand-in-hand with the clients. They created three conversational outdoor “rooms” consisting of what they considered cooking, dining, and lounge areas—all connected for a sense of cohesion and interactivity. The outdoor kitchen, which is outfitted with our 15” Clear Ice Machine, 15” beer Beverage Dispenser, Undercounter Refrigerator Drawers, our new Slide-Top Cooler, and our Beverage Center, received some serious style to boot. The owners ordered True units in an eye-catching custom powder-coated finish aptly called Porsche Blue—the hue is the color of the clients’ favorite sports car.

An architectural, lightweight custom concrete countertop—made by BLVD—complements the color of the units, reading as an attractive light grey. For the primary cabinetry material, Gazlay used Ipe, a durable tropical Brazilian hardwood that was oiled to withstand the elements but also showcases a gorgeous aesthetic. The flooring was purposely left to “’silver’ with sun exposure” explains the design director. “We made sure to encourage use of the kitchen as a gathering place regardless if the grill is fired up,” says Gazlay. “It’s designed to easily throw the game up on the TV, warm up the fire pit, and grab a drink while enjoying the incredible city views.” While the True Beverage Dispenser is currently set up to dispense a local beer, the clients are keeping their options open. It might be used to dispense wine, coffee, and/or other cocktails at different points in time.

As for the results? Gazlay explains “Quality outdoor space in the city is a premium and it’s more important now than ever with everyone stuck at home. Working with these urban roof decks allows us to develop an outdoor sanctuary and drastically enhance the way our clients live. Naturally the details and finishes on this project were a ton of fun to play with. The client’s vision to incorporate so many quality appliances into the kitchen was a special opportunity. At the end of the day the best part of this job is the incredible people we get to work and this client was no exception. Design is an intimate process, especially when designing someone’s home.  We feel lucky to work with so many amazing people to help transform their world.”