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Bringing Communities Together with Redesigned Outdoor Gathering Spaces

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As the office became the home office by cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, a heightened interest in both interior and exterior home remodeling projects was triggered. According to a 2021 Houzz study, home renovation spending has increased 15% in the last year. It is anticipated that investment in transforming outdoor living areas into lovely, multifunctional arrangements will continue as we move forward. Out of the desire for a more comfortable lifestyle, landscape and hardscape designs have come together to create outdoor patios and amenities that can be enjoyed by the larger community.

Roof Deck Amenities

Roof deck projects have increased in urban areas, in lieu of backyard space. Projects such as 130 Carlton Roof Deck, 1001 W. Fulton Roof Deck and One East Delaware transform ordinary rooftops into spacious, pleasant amenity spaces with all the bells and whistles. These might feature lounge furniture, outdoor cooking areas, garden walls, seat walls and soft landscaping to make a lovely gathering place where locals can enjoy city views and each other.

Unilock Arcana, Soreno and Umbriano are popular paving choices for roof decks, as their non-slip surface textures come factory sealed with EasyClean technology providing integral surface protection from stains. This provides an ease of maintenance not seen in other paving and roof deck products, which is a key benefit where high traffic, dining or eating is present. As part of the EnduraColor family of products, these pavers and slabs provide highly unique finishes and unmatched color retention, creating a sleek, highly durable product that will stand the test of time.

Public Plazas


Plazas have always been defined as open spaces, streets or building exteriors designed for public use. More recently, plaza redevelopment projects such as Grafton Lumberyard and Park at United Steel Workers have elevated these spaces into multi-purpose gathering places for local residents and the general public, including visitors and local office goers. Grafton Lumberyard added a wooden pergola with bar seating and a water feature that resembles a stream as a backdrop to increase visual appeal and offer a special resting spot if you’re just passing by. Additionally, different paving and wall materials can be used to create boundaries and wayfinding, which can assist in the definition of space and draw attention to its distinct qualities. For instance, the Park at United Steel Workers paid respect to the original material of the nearby buildings by using broad bands of Unilock Town Hall in a two-toned blend to help outline the plaza.

Multi-family community spaces

It’s not uncommon to find public community spaces in residential areas, and we’re not just referring to parks here. For the purpose of fostering community, these areas include a variety of recreational amenities such as fire pits, outdoor swimming pools, outdoor grill islands, and barbecues.

Heinz Lofts in Pennsylvania, originally a Heinz manufacturing facility, transformed its space into a modern multi-family home with community space. Outdoor patio tables, colorful patio chairs and a fire pit centerpiece breathe life into this courtyard while still retaining its historical architecture.

Vertical elements, such as low seat walls or bar islands, are common design approaches that place emphasis on quality and comfort while helping delineate the space.

Camden Washingtonian in Maryland, an upscale apartment community, created a posh meeting area with retaining walls, a bar table, patio seats, and an outdoor TV ideal for unwinding and having fun with neighbors. Additionally, by adding a splash of color to the tapestry, accent lighting and softscaping these outdoor spaces come to life.

When you have any outdoor space as your canvas, there are countless design options available. A local Unilock representative can assist you in finding the right paving products to bring your outdoor spaces to life.

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