Our Greatest Rooftop Decks — Ranked!

by | July 12, 2021 0 Architecture, Ideas

Inspired by Archinect’s recent list, “10 Green Rooftop Spaces We Liked This Week,” for which one of our projects claimed a spot, we looked back at some of our own favorite rooftop spaces from projects past. And what better timing? Summer is here and the spotlight — err, sunlight! — is on all the great places and ways we can come together. Because building community is what we do at SERA, so why not do it somewhere fabulous?

Here’s our Top 5!

Which is your personal favorite — on or off this list?


Nestled on the tree-lined banks of the Willamette River, the rooftop of Sanctuary apartments offers optimal views of the landmarks that gave Portland the nickname Bridgetown. Serene and unobstructed, visitors to Sanctuary’s roof deck get a birds-eye-view of kayakers, rowers and SUP-ers, as well as a variety of waterfowl — all enjoying this stretch of the river. Sanctuary totally earns its name and a spot on this list.

Designed by SERA in collaboration with Shapiro Didway



Formerly a vacant data center, Leland James showcases adaptive reuse like few others. Before its current glory as mixed-use creative and retail suites in Portland’s Slabtown neighborhood, we took the existing building down to its studs and redesigned it from the ground up. It was adding a central penthouse that made space for the restful rooftop terrace along the entire perimeter of the building. Workers and guests at Leland James not only enjoy stunning views of the burgeoning neighborhood and the lush West Hills, the ample landscaping and timber trellises make escaping the stresses of work a mere elevator ride away.

Designed by SERA in collaboration with Lango Hansen


There’s a reason Modera Pearl made Archinect’s Top 10 list. In addition to its eco-friendly green roofs and verdant plantings, this multifamily building epitomizes an outdoor spa vibe with covered lounge areas, a statement-making fire pit, and a heated pool overlooking the bustling Pearl District. Hosting parties is a literal breeze, since the rooftop deck adjoins the building’s two-story sky lounge, featuring a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, lounge and billiard room.

Designed by SERA in collaboration with Shapiro Didway


When we transformed Washington High from a derelict building to creative offices and a major music venue, the project garnered a lot of attention. But the hidden gem of this building is its new rooftop deck, which looks out across the Willamette to Portland’s beautiful downtown skyline. A place for employees to retreat for their moment of zen in the workday, the rooftop is also open to the public. Today, the rooftop bar is a staple for happy hour seekers, concertgoers and neighborhood regulars alike.



If Modera Pearl set a precedent for luxury outdoor spaces, its cousin property Modera Akoya makes a strong case that sometimes bigger may actually be better. With multilevel outdoor terraces — one overlooking the other — Akoya boasts sun decks, a pool, a hot tub, outdoor dining spaces and two fire pits. Inspired by an eco-resort concept, it’s impossible not to relax while sunning on an in-pool lounger, sprawled out inside a rattan day bed, or while reading a good book in a swinging pod chair. Sun filtering tall grasses and flowering trees make this rooftop the ultimate urban oasis.

Designed by SERA in collaboration with Lango Hansen

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