When it comes to multifamily living, more and more residents are interested in outdoor living space—patios, balconies, and terraces that bring light into their homes and allow them to enjoy nature.

The right mix of windows and doors can make a big difference in how well the outdoor space works with interior living areas, says Scott L. Leventhal, president and CEO of Tivoli Properties, an Atlanta-based firm that is developing two condo projects in Atlanta: the 94-unit Mezzo and the 84-unit Aqua. Both projects feature balconies or terraces that have panoramic views of the city.

CRAFTSMAN COOL: Just because they're called French doors doesn't mean they have to look French. Simpson Door Co. has introduced “Prairie French doors”—French doors that combine the classic look of French doors with the clean, simple lines of Craftsman and Mission-style design. Suited for interior or exterior use, the Prairie French doors have matching sidelights. The doors are available in five different wood species and offer a choice of insulated or single glazing. For more information, contact Simpson Door Company at 800-SIMPSON or visit www.simpsondoor.com.
CRAFTSMAN COOL: Just because they're called French doors doesn't mean they have to look French. Simpson Door Co. has introduced “Prairie French doors”—French doors that combine the classic look of French doors with the clean, simple lines of Craftsman and Mission-style design. Suited for interior or exterior use, the Prairie French doors have matching sidelights. The doors are available in five different wood species and offer a choice of insulated or single glazing. For more information, contact Simpson Door Company at 800-SIMPSON or visit www.simpsondoor.com.

“There is nothing more exiting than overlooking the urban action from a wonderful outdoor space in a high-rise,” Leventhal says. “The integration of outdoor living is pivotal to the whole urban living experience. Usable outdoor space provides an opportunity for residents to become one with the action.”

Many years ago, most multifamily projects featured smaller conventional windows; today, urban and suburban projects often offer wall-to-wall windows, French doors, or sliding patio doors that open to balconies, or terraces that are 8 feet to 10 feet deep, says Jerry Kaufman, principal of Regalia Holdings, a Aventura, Fla.-based developer that is building Regalia, a 42-story condo tower in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. Regalia's residences feature unobstructed, 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway and 10-foot deep terraces.

“We find that, in all climates, the balcony that used to be a place to put laundry out or store the bicycle or occasional plant has dramatically changed to deeper, wider balconies, terraces, and patios,” Kaufman says. “They allow families to cook, drink, and enjoy outdoor events.”

Jennifer Popovec is a freelance writer in Fort Worth, Texas.

Q & A

Cool Question of the Month

How can developers take advantage of natural amenities such as parks, lakes, and beaches near their projects?

Our newest project, Tribute Lofts, is located ‘‘ within the 210-acre Freedom Park, so we wanted to link the park to our development as much as possible and encourage its use. We've incorporated amenities such as bicycle cleaning and pet grooming areas that are adjacent to the park, and we also brought the park inside the project by creating a lushly landscaped, park-like courtyard in the interior on top of the parking structure. The courtyard features a fountain, benches, Wi-Fi, and a grilling area. We also created what we call the “SkyPad” to take advantage of the park views. The SkyPad is located on the seventh floor and offers amenities such as a spa, sundeck, fire pit, and BBQ grill. Like the central courtyard, it provides opportunities to bring people together and encourage social interaction.

Greg Wohl is principal of The InVision Group, an Atlanta-based firm that is developing Tribute Lofts, a mixed-use project with 152 condo units and ground-floor retail in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward.

Got a question? Got an answer? E-mail Rachel Azoff at razoff@hanleywood.com