About Rooftopia

aboutimg

Rooftopia is Chicago’s favorite, full-service, innovative rooftop garden, roof deck and landscape business. Jenn and Marcin and their exceptional team, will find creative and luxurious ways to design and install the outdoor living space or backyard garden of your dreams! We have a passion for green spaces, a flare for detail, and we are crazy about meticulous craftsmanship and making your experience with us the best it can be!

Our mission is to transform an ordinary rooftop, balcony or landscape into a sophisticated, show-stopping space that is fully customized to meet your needs. We want to extend your living area to the outdoors and re-inspire your urban lifestyle. From built-in outdoor kitchens, shade structures, relaxing lounges and privacy screens to gorgeous planter boxes, organic foodscapes, elegant accent lighting and intimate patios, we have the tools and talent to bring your ideas to life.

We are committed to building high-quality, low maintenance, eco-friendly outdoor spaces. We re-use and recycle wherever possible, donate plants in support of local community gardens, and are always courteous of the environment and all living systems.

Call today to set up an onsite consultation 773-398-9486


History

Jenn Lassa and Marcin Matlakowski met in 2008 while working as landscape professionals in Chicago. They quickly realized their shared enthusiasm for beautiful design, the outdoors, and living life to the fullest would make them perfect partners in business and in life! They decided to take their talents to the next level and launch their own business where they could devote their time and energy to designing and building outdoor spaces that inspire others and in 2009 Rooftopia was born.

A few years later in the fall of 2013, Jenn and Marcin were married in a picture-perfect farm wedding surrounded by family and friends. They have enjoyed every minute of doing the work they are passionate about and look forward to a bright future together bringing beautiful outdoor spaces to life in Chicago.


People

Jenn-Rooftopia

Jenn Lassa
Founder & Owner

Jenn is an accomplished horticulturist, landscape designer, and photographer. She grew up on a Wisconsin farm where she raised animals and grew many crops, where she gained a life-long appreciation for hard work and a hands-on education in sustainable gardening and farm-to-table living. When Jenn is not dedicating her time to making Chicago a greener city, you can find her tending to her organic garden, planting new varieties of heirloom vegetables with her toddler and renovating their urban homestead or traveling the globe, with her family.


Marcin Matlakowski
Founder & Owner

Marcin is a trained carpenter, craftsman, and all-around engineer. His degree in construction management and expertise in fabrication are balanced by his creative drive and passion for innovative design. Marcin is inspired by challenging the status quo with proof that sustainable design does not require sacrificing convenience or aesthetics. When he is not hand-crafting or designing one-of-a-kind garden elements, you can find him rebuilding and riding vintage motorcycles, traveling with his family, or renovating something.


Jill Keller, PLA

Jill Keller, PLA
Landscape Architect

Jill is an avid plant nerd, gardener, and designer. Jill grew up in southern Indiana where she enjoyed the peace and quite of nature. After she graduated form Ball State University, Jill moved to the Pacific Northwest and fell in love with sustainable design and the PNW style of architecture. Jill has an extensive background in landscape architecture, ranging from large scale commercial projects to intimate residential design/build projects. In her downtime, Jill loves exploring Chicago with her husband, children, and dog, Animal.


Heidi Petersen
Account Manager & Landscape Designer

Heidi has a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She has taught neighborhood classes in backyard beekeeping and the basics of hand drafting and urban design to high school students; had research projects with the American Society of Landscape Architects on the health benefits of nature and engaging with nature in cities; collected data on the best perennial plants for use on rooftops at the Chicago Botanic Garden; and is a proud alumna of the Student Conservation Association, where she spent a summer building a hiking trail in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Heidi recently returned to Chicago after spending a couple of years exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. In her free time, she digs spinning records, crafting, reading, baking, and camping.


Bree Ringe

Bree Ringe
Landscape Designer

Bree has a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Design. She aspires to combine architectural elements with the landscape to enhance each site’s unique qualities. From a young age, she was inspired by garden designs and has made it her goal to create innovative spaces for every client. When not engaged in the design process, Bree often hikes and photographs locations at state parks. She is a passionate landscape designer and photographer.


Zhenya Jane Salóp

Zhenya Jane Salóp
Lead Welder / Metal Fabricator and Shop Manager

Zhenya trained as a welder and metal fabricator at Chicago Women in Trades. She is responsible for all of Rooftopia’s in-shop metalwork and fabrication as new projects begin. When she is not welding various metal creations, you might find her making jewelry, playing her cello, or riding bicycles with friends.


L. Cris-Castellan

Luis (Cris) Castellan
Welder / Metal Fabricator

Cris is a Guatemalan-born, Chicago-raised Northsider with a passion for metal fabrication and engineering, as well as a love for plants and animals. He is an avid cyclist and metal artist who enjoys designing and fabricating his own custom bicycles and sculptures.


Lucas

Lucas Tomaszewski
Landscape Installer

Lucas hails from Northern Michigan where he grew up on a small homestead/farm. After a stint in the restaurant industry, he switched to organic vegetable farming and discovered the joys of working with plants and the great outdoors. When he’s not installing on rooftops or in backyards, you can find him reading, lounging with his cat, or participating in medieval combat reenactment.


Megan

Megan Wachholz
Lighting, Irrigation & Maintenance Coordinator

Megan is an artist, traveler, and sustainable living “hippie.” Raised in Chicago, she received her bachelor’s degree in Visual Art and International Studies from Luther College in Iowa. In the last five years, she has spent most of her time living abroad or in rural areas learning about permaculture gardening, earth building, and zero waste lifestyles. Back in Chicago, she strives to bring nature into urban life and teaching her community how to live more sustainable and holistic lifestyles. In her free time, she works on fiber arts, frolics outside, and spends time with good people.


Janek Styrczula

Janek Styrczula
Carpenter

Janek has been in the construction industry for over 18 years and has been working with Rooftopia for 6 years. He moved from Poland in 2001 and began his career in Chicago at a family-owned construction business almost immediately after the plane landed! He attended formal training at a technical school in Poland and received his degree as an Electrical Engineer. In his spare time, he enjoys wrenching on cars, installing new parts on his off-road truck, and spending time with his family.


DESIGN AND INSTALLATION PROCESS

Consultation

We work around your busy schedule to set up an appointment at your space to gather measurements, photos and ideas. After we discuss the wide range of possibilities, fully understand your garden aspirations, existing architectural elements and the outdoor access points, we can begin to bring the garden of your dreams to life.

Estimates & Concepts

After our consultation, we will begin estimating and conceptualizing custom garden elements for each outdoor location. Detailed estimates will outline our design fee, based on the size and scope of your project. Our estimates and concept drawings are tailored to meet each of our clients individual outdoor living goals.

Design Process

Our design process is unique, for each client and each outdoor space. We ensure that you receive nothing less than attentive and reliable service through every aspect of the garden’s development from concept illustrations through final revisions. Our specialized design process guarantees that all garden elements have been organized and prepared, so there are no surprises during the installation of the project and that it is completed within the specified time frame. To ensure exceptional results we follow sustainable, harmonious design principles to inspire each rooftop garden or landscape.

Installation

Once a project is under contract our obligations and our clients are clearly defined. We want to complete each garden efficiently, and within your budget. We take great pride in our craftsmanship, building each project with the highest quality standards for longevity, beauty and sustainability. All of our outdoor living spaces and custom garden elements are designed and built to meet city code regulations and safety standards.

Maintenance

After we complete your installation, we will work with you to establish the best possible care and maintenance for your landscape or outdoor living space. We have many maintenance options depending on the plants and systems we have installed. It is our goal to install primarily low-maintenance plants and offer seasonal gardening services to keep your outdoor oasis picture perfect.