An Urban Sanctuary at Hood Park

The Harvey Green Roof Terrace
Charlestown, MA

Charlestown’s Hood Park district had been an active site of industry for almost 200 years. So when developer Catamount Management decided to build Hood Park's first ever residential building—the first phase in an ambitious 20-acre master plan—they saw an essential need for a welcoming, comfortable outdoor space.

LEED Platinum certified, the 12,000 square feet roof terrace at The Harvey offers a sanctuary for the residents of the building’s 177 units. Designed and programmed as a multi-use space, the terrace blends a variety of open and discreet landscaped spaces in a circular, brassica-inspired design. Residents enjoy access to a substantial deck, lawn, mixed seating areas, cooking grills, and a community garden—all shielded from the surrounding private patios by raised bedding.

Overhead view of green roof terrace at the Harvey residential building in Charlestown, MA

Less than a year after The Harvey opened to its first residents, the pandemic hit. The terrace provided a lifeline—a flexible outdoor space that could be enjoyed by all residents. Located on the building's second floor, the south-facing terrace basks in sunlight for much of the day, earning it the nickname "The Sun Spot". The use of High-SRI paving reduces heat island effect and keeps the roof terrace cooler throughout summer.

Planted areas and flower beds weave throughout the terrace in a mix of textures and colors. All the 8,000-plus plants are water efficient, and most are native to the local area. The beds consist of raised mounds—more soil allows for a greater variety of plants, and the raised levels add privacy for certain seating areas and residents’ private patios.

Curved deck and lawn at the Harvey Green Roof Terrace at Hood Park

Fitness classes and lawn games take place on the low-maintenance synthetic lawn, with food tasting events held on the spacious outer deck. The building’s communal kitchen opens directly onto the main deck space, which in turn becomes a perfect stage for parties and small gatherings.

Planters containing vegetables in community garden at the Harvey in Charlestown

The terrace’s south-east corner is devoted to a community garden with planting beds, where residents can join several gardening classes per week as part of a managed agricultural program.

Through this flexible programming, the design meets both the physical and mental health needs of residents. It also provides an opportunity to connect with nature and form relationships—all the more important given The Harvey’s heavily urban surroundings.

Viewed from above, the design intent becomes clearer: The terrace resembles the cross-section of a cabbage, with a ‘core’ in the center and peeling ‘leaves’ at the perimeter.

Man walking along curved deck path at the Harvey roof terrace at night