Multifamily developers and owners are increasingly looking up as they build and outfit high-rise residential buildings. Creating entertainment spaces on rooftops is a smart and savvy way to maximize tight spaces and meet residents’ demands for high-end amenities, says Jim Manskey, a principal with TBG Partners, a landscape architecture and land planning firm based in Texas.

Multifamily rooftop entertainment areas often are designed to mimic amenities found in luxury resorts. In downtown Austin, Texas, for example, TBG Partners designed a rooftop entertainment space for The Austonian, a $275 million, 56-story luxury condo tower. Slated for completion this summer, the project’s 12,000-square-foot roof setback on the tenth floor includes: a 75-foot lap pool, fountains, a reflecting pool, hot tub, herb garden, private cabanas, private spa, sundeck, fireplace, outdoor grills, catering kitchens, a movie-watching area, and, get this, a secured dog park.

TBG Partners also is designing Park Seventeen, a $200 million project in Dallas that links a 13-story office tower and a 19-story residential tower via a joint-use outdoor amenity deck atop a six-level parking garage podium. The deck will feature a one-acre, pet-friendly park, for which TBG Partners recommends artificial lawn from Albuquerque, N.M.-based manufacturer ForeverLawn because the product fights pet odors and provides instantaneous and immediate drainage. The deck will also include a 4,000-square-foot fitness area and an infinity-edge pool.

But enjoying the great outdoors comes with a price. Manskey estimates that it costs five to 10 times more per square foot to build amenities in the sky versus indoors.

Bon Appetit: Outdoor kitchens are easy to design and create with stainless steel cabinetry from Danver. The stainless doors and drawer fronts feature a European frameless design and are fabricated with commercial-grade, 20-gauge stainless steel and a No. 4 brushed vertical grain to provide a rich, contemporary look. The cabinetry can accommodate appliances including grills, warming drawers, refrigerators, and sinks. For more information, call Danver at 888-441-0537 or visit

Strong Lumber: The newly enhanced Parallam Plus parallel strand lumber from iLevel by Weyerhaeuser offers a structural solution for unprotected exterior applications with high-moisture conditions. From decking supports to retaining walls, the lumber offers strength and consistency through the Wolmanized preservative protection, which helps guard against termites, fungal decay, and groundwater contact. Available in headers, beams, columns, and posts, the product can be painted or stained with an oil-based finish. For more information, call iLevel by Weyerhaeuser at 888-453-8358 or visit

Planters Perfected: Kornegay Design offers a variety of cast concrete site furnishings including architectural planters, benches, and trash receptacles. The Dune Series landscape containers offer a sleek, contemporary design in tapered, round precast concrete. The planters are available in natural gray concrete or custom colors, with a variety of irrigation and drainage options. For more information, call Kornegay Design at 877-252-6323 or visit

Credit: Photographer: Matthew Borkoski

Hearty Decks: Engineered with an exclusive low-sheen, high-traffic formulation, Trex Transcend decking combines a finish that resists stains, scratches, and mold with a high-definition wood-grain pattern in rich, deep colors. The Transcend collection is backed by a 25-year warranty, guaranteed not to rot, warp, crack, or splinter. The collection is available in four distinct colors inspired by the great outdoors. For more information, call Trex at 800-289-8739 or visit

Credit: Tony Giese

Tropical Teaser: AZEK has entered the exotic world of tropical hardwood without endangering a single species. The AZEK DeckArbor Collection includes three new colors with a subtle grain and pattern that resembles tropical woods: Acacia, a rich, walnut brown; Morado, a light brown similar to Ipe; and Redland Rose, featuring warm, reddish hues. The collection resembles the tropics but is far more workable without the extreme weight or density. For more information, call AZEK Building Products at 877-275-2935 or visit

Doggone Grass: K9Grass by ForeverLawn was developed for use with pets. This synthetic grass features a new type of knitted yarn that helps fight odors and provides instantaneous and immediate drainage of the turf itself. Liquids do not need to travel along the grass until a drainage hole is found. K9Grass does not require irrigation and is low maintenance. For more information, call ForeverLawn at 866-992-7876 or visit