Amazing Roofs

If a building has a crowning glory it is surely the roof; by which I mean the roof is the thing that adds the finishing touch to a building. Stepping away from the traditional roofing approach, we can look at the world of the strange or unusual approach to roofing. Below are a few of the more unusual roof designs you can find around the world, and how different architects approach the problem of keeping a roof above our heads.

Hotel Marqués de Riscal

If you can look at this building and not be astonished by its roof, you should ask somebody to check your pulse! The titanium structure, that is the roof of this hotel, is far from the image of the wine region it is situated in.

rioja marques de riscal exterio

Frank O Gehry has created a roof that flows over and under itself like some kind of elaborate bow on a Christmas present. An incredible design, that though in contrast to the region, compliments it beautifully.

Green Roof of Nanyang Technological University


As this building is part of a technological University,you should expect a different approach, and that is exactly what you get. The Green roof collects water, regulates the temperature inside the Arts and media building, and creates cool air for all. This is not only a practical design; it is actually a very beautiful solution, which sweeps across the top of the building and down to the ground.

The Leaf House


The so called “leaf house” in Angra dos Reis, Brazil is covered by a spectacular roof that takes its inspiration directly from nature. The roof not only gives the house its name but also supplies complete protection from the sun for the inhabitants below. From above, the roof has a beautiful symmetry that is not usually provided by nature, but you can forgive this oversight quite easily, as at least the design is made from the materials supplied by Mother Nature herself.

Tongkonan Houses


Tongkonan houses are beautiful and unusual houses finished with an equally unusual roof designed. Constructed using bamboo, the roof arcs up from the center to either end of the house, and gives the appearance of a boat. This design is unique to the Torajan people of Indonesia, but is so striking that it is amazing they are not used everywhere

The Upside-Down House


Located in a Polish town called Szymbark, is a house that is unusual in many ways, and one of these is the position of the roof. This house been constructed upside-down, meaning the roof is on the floor, and the floor is on the roof. The design makes it very easy to install a satellite dish on the roof, but seeming impossible to dig footings, and I have no idea whether downpipes or up-pipes were used as guttering.

As you can see from the above selection, roofs can take very different and unique forms to those that are generally accepted. Whether or not they would be practical is another matter. I’ll leave you with a thought to consider. As long as you have a roof over your head, does it reallymatter what it looks like?

The author of this post is Jenny Wadlow, a part of the team at Boyles Roof Plumbing, specialists in colorbond roofing. Her hobbies include gardening and she writes about home improvement in her spare time. Follow her @JennyWadlow.

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