The roof level is another layer of urban life: flat and high roofs, roof windows, roof terraces and gardens become visible from above. When I lived in one of the upper apartments of a tall building in downtown Portland, Oregon I had the opportunity to experience the roof of the surrounding buildings and happenings on them. I had a great view of the top of a parking structure. I glanced from the window at different times of the day and saw that many young people meet on the roof and they often stay for a long time. The kids were skateboarding, playing or just having a rest there and car parkers often took photos of the surrounding buildings, thanks to the beautiful view.
After studying community spaces and visiting the rooftops of several parking structures in central Portland, I finally chose the top level of the SmartPark parking garage as the location for my design. The site is 3 blocks from the Willamette River in Portland’s business district. It is a calm place above the hustle and bustle of the city and it offers excellent views of the urban and natural landscape.
I designed 2 similar loungers with the same dimensions and one bench to increase the number of combination options. The first one and the bench are massive blocks, the other one is an airy swivel lounger. The modular designs are open to a variety of interpretations by their users, stimulating them to come up with new ideas for their use. During the summer, the TIP-TOP Urban Mates become lounge chairs, which can be hooked up to each other and laid out in various ways. During transportation and the winter, they can be stacked up vertically or stored disassembled.
I designed these pieces by using plastic waste which accumulated in the oceans. This approach reflects the importance of recycling and the problem of over-consumption. The material is resistant to weather conditions and can be easily cleaned. The coloring takes place by selecting the appropriate pieces of ocean plastic without adding resin or pigments. This method also gives a unique texture to the objects.