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18 Eye Catching Residential Roofs

11 May 2011 4 Comments

A roof finishes the look of a house, and in recent times architects have been branching out from the traditional types of roof to more eye catching displays. Different materials can be used to produce striking effects, as can non traditional shapes.

Roof sculpture makes a bold statement, and there are some very effective examples of green urban roofing too. Here are just a few examples of eye catching roofs throughout the world.

SHARK ATTACK! – the roof that the shark ate

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The residents of the town of Headington in Oxford woke up one morning to find a shark embedded in their neighbour’s roof. Though certainly eye catching, this piece of fibreglass sculpture was not to everyone’s taste. The street is just an ordinary row of terraced houses and the shark certainly enlivened its look. Some of the neighbours objected, and the town planners got in on the act.

Bill Heine, the owner of the house and the man who commissioned the sculpture, ostensibly as a protest against the atomic bomb, was refused retrospective planning permission. After a long battle with the Oxford planning committee, who were concerned about a plethora of sharks in roofs, the sculpture was allowed to stay and is now a local landmark. However anyone else in the area planning their own large roof sculpture might find it more difficult, as planning permission was given on the grounds that this was an extra – ordinary artistic statement.

This is a rather extreme way of making your roof eye catching. You could instead turn your roof into a garden!

Taking the concept of a green roof to its extreme

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This house in Norway sports what looks like a mini forest on the roof. Starting from a base of moss, the trees have self seeded and grown up over the years to provide this attention grabbing roof.

Not to everyone’s taste, but certainly environmentally friendly, this super green roofing provides insulation and is self sufficient. Scandinavia has a long tradition of green roofs and every year since 2000 the countries have competed for awards specifically in this category, and the number of mountain lodges with turf roofs has proliferated recently, this being just one example.

The Leaf House- Rio de Janeiro

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This wonderful and innovative roof is imitating the leaves of a banana tree, with the structure actually protecting all the spaces of the house from the strong heat. The roof is also very eco friendly, as it collects rainwater, which is then reused within the building.

Moreover, the petal-shaped structure allows for the ocean breeze to pass nicely through the entire building, providing an efficient natural ventilation system. This is a wonderful beachfront home built in the open-space architectural style, with a very beautiful and highly efficient roofing system.

Hundertwasser House, Vienna

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This is a wonderful residential home that can be found in Austria. It was designed by architect Friedenscreich Hundertwasser, and it was built between 1983 and 1986. This is perhaps the most wonderful eco friendly apartment building in entire Europe, and it is no wonder that the building has become a very important cultural heritage site for the Austrians.

The floors within the building are undulating, and the spirally rooftop is entirely eco friendly with bushes and trees being planted all over. The building is an almost artistic representation of beauty, and this was perfectly achieved by designer Hundertwasser who was also a successful painter, not only an architect.

Casa Battlo- Barcelona, Spain

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This house was built in 1877, and was restored by Antony Gaudi in 1906. The entire building has a wonderful architecture, an overall surreal, dreamlike structure. The roof is made of multicolored tiles, and is built in a wavy style, avoiding straight lines.

It is a representation of fine art, and the roof is said to resemble the back of a dragon. The entire structure belongs to the Art Nuveau architectural style.

Tongkonan Roofs- Sulawesi, Indonesia

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The Tongkonan houses are traditional ancestral homes that one can find in Sulawesi area, Indonesia. The most interesting, and eye catching feature about these homes is the roof. These are saddle- back style structures built of thatch and bamboo sticks.

The roofs of these houses are very large and impressive, but the interiors are quite small and dark given the fact that natural light cannot enter the space because of these oversized opulent roofs.

You can also take rooftop living a step further – let’s play golf !

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This stunning house has a mini golf course as part of its roof design. Set high up in the hills of Spain, the roof stretches outwards towards a sloping river valley. Made from a steel and aluminium frame, the golf course on the roof sets off this futuristic house perfectly. It provides recreational space in an area where the sloping terrain would make this otherwise impractical.

The Green Roofs of Switzerland

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Built on the ingenious designs of architects from Vetch Company Switzerland, this little habitat made of tiny but very comfortable houses share an eco friendly secret: the grass rooftops. These green roofs can at any time become little private gardens where people grow their organic tomatoes, and this roofing system is what actually makes these homes seem “hidden”.

Mountain Dwellings, Orestad Denmark

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This is a residential house, designed by Danish architectural firm BIG. The structure is what is called a “garden home”, with each apartment having its own rooftop garden. It is built in a cascading style, and it has 10 floors. Each of the roofs is a big green area where plants and vegetables grow, and from a distance the dwelling does resemble Mount Everest.

Parking spaces? Thanks to innovative engineering techniques, people can park their cars right outside their homes, even if they live on the 10th floor…

Bubble House- Tourette sour Loup, France

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This is an unusual little house, but a very stylish one. It is built in the shape of a bubble, with bubble shaped windows on the rooftop that allow natural light to come in at day, while at night they provide a wonderful image of the starry sky.

The house was designed by Anti Lovag (Hungarian architect), back in the 1970’s, and it was intended as a residential home for French fashion icon Pierre Cardin.

Allandale House, Auchterarder, Scotland

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This is a house which seems to have an interminable black roof, which is basically a luxury forest cabin in Scotland. The front entrance side of the building is an A-shaped asymmetrical roof structure, which gives the entire building a very modernistic shape.

It was designed by architect William O’Brien, and the main frame of the house is actually the roof which wraps around the entire cabin.

Historial de la Vendee, France

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This is actually not a residential home, but a historical museum located in Les Loucs sur Bulogne. The most interesting fact about this establishment is that you basically cannot notice its roof from a distance. It is built in such a way that it blends in totally with nature, and for such a big sized building, achieving such an optical illusion was quite challenging. It was designed by PLAN01 Architects.

Roof with a view

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Some inspiring roof designs extend your living space, as can be seen in this desert house, where the space age style roof can be used as a vantage point to enjoy the views, or as a recreational area. The clean lines of the white roof contrast with the blue of the desert sky.

This innovative roofing gives a geometric design to this giant sloping roof. Some of the roofing has been hidden by a simple turfed garden to give the effect of the house rising from the land.

The result is that much of this house is hidden below ground. This helps to keep the property cool, but it means that the roof is the main design feature and integral to the outdoor living space. The windows look out onto the roofing area which is split into segments to give the feel of distinct and differing patio areas.

Unique roof for modern city living

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The roof is actually an extension to the house itself, raised in the form of an eyelid, and gives a small house more room and light. It also provides shade and protection from the weather to the back of the house. This eyelid design is made more distinctive by the surroundings, which include high rise flats and hotels. The flat background behind it makes this roof design stand out even more.

The floating roof

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This house in Salt Lake City, Canyon House, has a roof which looks like a spaceship or the prow of a vessel as it juts out over stunning views. The main focal point of this house is the floating roof, as half of the house is hidden under ground, so that the style emphasis is horizontal.

The roof uses exposed structural steel and architectural concrete to produce this ultra modern effect. It floats above the living room and bedrooms and provides for panoramic views across the valleys.

Triangulated roof design

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This roof is an example of what can be achieved on a strictly limited budget and using traditional materials. This house set near Mexico City is built in a slope. By the ingenious use of shape this roof, makes this comparatively low budget house stand out. The triangulated effect of the roofing is achieved by careful use of shape and painting, using different shades of the same colour scheme for emphasis.The house is 130 square meters in area.

Rooftop bathroom – really?!?

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A different use for your rooftop is to turn it into a bathroom, as in this arresting Japanese bathroom. Completely surrounded by glass so that natural light and sun can enter from all sides, this contemporary approach gives a very different feel to your rooftop. This rooftop bathroom overlooks a patio area.

Designed by Suppose Design in a minimalistic style, it is not for the bashful but will provide a unique rooftop experience.

Roof design based on the Antony Gaudi style

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This eye catching building in Singapore is home to one family. The home of the Haniffa family, who own large department stores, the roof design is based on the Gaudi style. Inspired by the Spanish architect, this roof has distinctive onion shaped domes on the roof, in an art nouveau style .Round the edges of the roof are Muslim motifs in bright colours. Meant to stand out from the crowd, this building cost $9 million to build and houses three generations of the same family.

Roofs which catch the eye

Roofs which catch the eye come in many variations. These are all residential buildings, where people’s homes have some outstanding features. They vary from the budget small family home to the millionaire’s extravaganza, but they all have something different about the roofing. They show what can be achieved with style and a little imagination. Many of these will set design parameters for the future.

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4 Comments »

  • Paul Martin said:

    Wow, I can’t believe the shark sculpture! Very quirky, but I’m glad that the authorities gave permission to let it stay. I my opinion the green roofs with the plants and trees are the best of the bunch, so simple to achieve and environmentally friendly!

  • Saundra said:

    Wow! These designs are truly a work of art. You can see how varied the inspirations are with each and every detail on those roofs. It is great to know that there are builders who aspire to make bold statements such as these without sacrificing the functionality of the roof.

  • Lino Kosters said:

    Eye catching is an understatement. With roofs as creative as these, your attention would surely be caught by it. I personally like the Green Roof of Switzerland. It reminded me of those homes found in fairy tales. I just hope that these roofs are also durable. Style and protection should always be combined in building roofs.

  • Ryan said:

    Fantastic, some big budget roofing here. Love the bathroom completely surrounded by glass, would be surreal on a stormy winters evening to be enjoying a hot shower (with the lights out of course!).

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