773‑561‑5348 bill@hicksarc.com

Plazas, Decks & Green Roofs

The outdoor common elements in large buildings should be vital amenities for all residents or employees, requiring thoughtful design. Rooftop sundecks and plazas are technically challenging areas to build and waterproof to create attractive, long-lasting environments for people to enjoy.

Hicks Architectural Group designs occupied roof decks, with green landscaping features, path lighting, custom fixed furnishings, and furnishings for a variety of residential and commercial clients that create lasting first impressions.

Suburban Garden

Residents in this 90-unit condominium reported damage to their cars from dropping debris and dripping salts coming from a 22,500 square-foot rooftop courtyard above the shared garage.

Hicks Architectural Group confirmed the need to replace the garage roof waterproofing, which required the removal of topside damaged paving, aging planters, and a water feature from the spartan common area.

We prepared designs and construction drawings to renovate the structural reinforced concrete deck and courtyard with a new 20-year-material-warrantied waterproofing system, a sand bed-set brick paving system, intensive and extensive landscaping, shading pergola, reflection pool, path security, and landscape lighting.

Condominium Entryway Remodeling

This 300-foot high lakefront tower, originally designed by John Macsai and completed in 1973, was suffering from an image problem.

Aging, expensive lighting, antiquated signage, and plaster damage made the original porte cochère appear worn. Incremental “improvements” over the years, like the installation of additional driveway lighting and mismatched paints, did not consider the experience of the building users.

Hicks Architectural Group reviewed the original structure of the canopy for damage and its load-bearing potential. We then worked with the WaterFord Condominium Association to develop pragmatic lighting, signage, color, and repair solutions for the renovation.

Our final design reflected a unique massing similar to the original canopy but more pragmatic — with a textured, ultra-high performance concrete “rainscreen” panel. We also designed energy-efficient LED direct and indirect digitally-controlled lighting, legible building address fonts, and sympathetic color adjustments.

Modernist Rooftop

Top floor residents in this notable 500-unit condominium located in Chicago’s South Loop were suffering from water damage due to deteriorating rooftop waterproofing. As well as violating the safety requirements of the Chicago Building Code, the sundeck amenity was crumbling, uninviting, and rarely used by the residents.

Hicks Architectural Group directed that existing materials were to be removed down to the concrete roof structure, and structural repairs were performed to the deck with a replacement 20-year-warrantied waterproofing system, energy code compliant roof insulation, pedestal-set precast concrete paver system, refurbishments to the life-safety tie-back perimeter system, weathering steel planters, low-maintenance intensive and extensive landscaping, and irrigation system, grille counter, and landscape lighting.

Lakefront High-Rise

Located along the north lakefront, this 26-story residential tower experienced widespread roof leaking from an aged rooftop observation deck. Hicks Architectural Group further determined that the deck structure was overloaded by the weight of the deteriorating surfacing materials.

Hicks Architectural Group was asked to design, bid, and permit a new roof and south-facing common area amenity. This work included structural deck repairs, a 20-year-warrantied waterproofing system with code compliant roof insulation, a natural wood finished deck, a life-safety tie-back perimeter system, planters containing low-maintenance landscaping and integral irrigation system, food preparation counter, non-corroding metal sunshade, and low-glare landscape/safety lighting controlled by adjustable timers.

Roof Deck Goes from Tragic to Epic

Read the complete article on this roof deck transformation.

Downtown Office Plaza

Latent construction defects, intermittent maintenance, and a series of ill-planned renovations had, over time, damaged the waterproofing on Illinois Center’s busy entry plaza and allowed the rapid deterioration of the existing poured concrete walking surfaces, destroying the original character of this historic plaza designed by Mies van der Rohe.

As a result, water leaks were reported at multiple locations within retail lease spaces below. Water had invaded plaza lighting conduit, shorting fixtures. Under-sized deck drains created areas of spotty ponding and swamped landscaped planters.

Hicks Architectural Group was employed to temporarily fix spot waterproofing failures, then ultimately trusted to draw up redesign options, provide Construction & Bid Drawing and site observation for a comprehensive, cost-effective plaza remodeling to the character of the existing buildings.

This work included the demolition of the 45,000 square-foot failed paving system and waterproofing materials, repairs to the existing concrete structural deck, installing waterproofing and a custom sand-bed set precast concrete paver system, replacing glass perimeter guardrails, recladding of above-grade planters, plus adding new efficient path and landscape lighting, integrated flagpoles, fixed seating, and monumental signage.