Jul 212014
 

Airport-Building-Design8The roof of a building is there simply to keep the weather out and the heat in. Roofs have developed a long way since the thatched variety, so much so that they can now be countless shapes and sizes to create a truly iconic building.

Many of the most striking rooftops used to be on top of churches and cathedrals, with the dome of St Pauls Cathedral in London or St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City two such examples.

Nowadays, skylines of towns and cities are mixed with all sorts of different shaped roofs, a far cry from the street after street of terraced house rooftops in the industrial revolution days.

The Sydney Opera House would not be famous if it was not for its roof design. Seeing it lit up at night is something different as well, with the use of lights making the building even more awe inspiring.

opera-de-sidney-australia

Some modern sports stadia have also used a roof to create a unique venue that differentiates itself from the norm, whilst not forgetting its job of keeping the spectators dry. The new aquatics centre built for the 2012 Olympics in London had a roof in the shape of a wave, a clever idea for this type of venue. The previous Olympics in Beijing used the roof to create a magnificent bird’s nest look.

The architect for the new Wembley Stadium decided that with the famous and iconic Twin Towers gone, a replacement iconic feature was needed. The solution was an arch on the roof, which also handily provided support for the roof as well.

Wembley6    millennium_stadium2

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has a retractable roof, an idea now used at Wimbledon, where the roof has already created great theatre and drama by enabling tennis matches to go on late into the evening.

Flat roofs are also used to create an extra floor and there are numerous hotels that have swimming pools on top of the roof, combined with poolside bars and lounge areas.

CASA ECOLOGICA

Rooftop gardens are also becoming more and more popular. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon may or may not have existed but if they did then it shows that roofs were being used in exotic ways more than two thousand years ago. If they did not exist, they have certainly inspired many a rooftop garden today.

It seems a roof is anything but there simply to keep the weather out. It is an integral part of a building’s character and is being used more and more practically, especially in the leisure industry.

James Lord is a roofing specialist writing on behalf of the construction company www.brac-group.co.uk for roofers London.

 

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