In today’s fast-paced world, staying healthy, having lifestyle balance, and access to fresh air and nature are so important and valued, which is why developers seek to design amenities that provide a full outdoor living experience.
From a design standpoint, these outdoor spaces are the elements differentiating one property from its competitors. It makes a significant impact on marketing and sales when people walkthrough and experience these spaces. If they can see outdoor spaces that no one else has, it can be a significant selling point that can translate into higher rents and tenants who want to stay longer, because they have access to tremendous health-driven amenities.
CURRENT TRENDS IN OUTDOOR AMENITIES
Green spaces: A beautifully landscaped and comfortable area with lots of green can help residents find peace and take some fresh air after having a tiring day indoors at work.
Rooftop terrace/deck: This space is a considerable perk for residents because this will not only allow them to soak up the sunshine but also get a great view of the city. Rooftop decks can be home to a pool, lounge chairs, a fire pit, and plenty of comfortable seating.
Outdoor movie theaters: They are popping up a lot lately, and it’s a wow factor in every amenity driven space. It’s a great way to bring residents outside to engage with one another, arrange a movie night for kids or for singles.
Community gardens: There is much interest in a healthy lifestyle across all demographics. Community gardens allow residents to connect to nature, build friendships while growing their veggies, and save some money on groceries.
Outdoor kitchens and dining areas: Outdoor kitchens have recently ranked at the top of national housing trend lists. Add an outdoor kitchen, grilling area, and plenty of tables and chairs to your green space or rooftop deck to make the space feel more welcoming and ready for hosting an event party or a summer BBQ.
Outdoor pool: Swimming pools are still one of the best amenities a community can have. A pool is an always desired place for individuals who want to get a perfect tan without leaving their building.
Recreation & entertainment: Many different demographics enjoy recreation amenities such as basketball, tennis courts, and sand volleyball courts and are appealing to health-conscious homeowners and families with active children.
Open access: Blending the indoors and outdoors with, pass through elements such as collapsible window walls, on the high-end, and French or sliding glass doors, on the more affordable end, are features that allow the benefits of the outdoors (fresh air, sunlight) inside while allowing users protection from the elements.
Transforming balconies/terraces: Are an excellent intersection between innovation and technology. Windows that transfer/expand into balconies and terraces that can be transformed into an indoor-outdoor space in winter by just pressing a button
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING MULTIFAMILY OUTDOOR AMENITIES
When designing outdoor amenities, usually, the first question is, who is going to be using this place? Then it comes down to the ownership – what they want. The designer must use their expertise and suggest amenities that will appeal to the building’s primary demographics.
Location: How do you determine the amenities that will have a positive impact on overall design? For example, courtyards often function as a critical amenity piece, so it must be easily accessible to residents and allow direct views from as many units as possible in a low-density site. In a higher density, this will be different; for example, in a multistory building, there may be a shared amenity space on an upper level that gives residents access to views of downtown, a park, or a nearby attraction.
Connecting outdoor and indoor spaces: To fully benefit from outdoor amenities, there should be a way to view them from inside spaces. Connecting residents to outdoor amenities can be achieved by designing walls with operable glass windows and doors to allow views to the outside, as well as free exchange of outdoor air and breezes.
About the Author:
Wrishmina Zurmati is a Junior Architect at SR/A. She resides in Bethesda, Maryland. Ms. Zurmati primarily works on the preparation of design documents and drawings, and site surveys.