While the typical roof is simply constructed to weather the elements and help regulate temperatures, some of the more interesting designs contain unique architectural features, hyper-functionality or fantastic panoramic views, qualifying them as tourist attractions in and of themselves. When it comes to stylized roofs with a high degree of visual appeal, here are some of the most amazing roofs in the world.
Sydney Opera House
This stunning multi-venue performing arts facility is located on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, Australia. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning Danish architect Jørn Utzon in 1957, it took until 1973 to complete. The chief obstacle during the assembly of the Sydney Opera House was constructing the spherical roof. However, the end result was stunning: one of the most iconic roofs in the world.
Nestled within the cities of Helmond and Rotterdam, Netherlands, these high-density houses put a twist on urban living. Inspired by nature, in the mid-1970’s architect Piet Blom decided to create homes that resembled trees. Tilted on a 45 degree angle and set upon a hexagon column base, the Cube Houses consist of 100 square meters of loft living above while providing communal space below. These ‘living forests’ attract hundreds of curious tourists each year.
Qi Zhong Stadium
The Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center was the largest tennis facility in Asia when completed in 2005. In addition to providing seating for 15,000 spectators, this stadium’s roof resembles China’s national flower, the Paeonia suffruticosa, when viewed from above. Its eight petal-shaped and retractable roof components bloom like a flower, converting this fascinating facility to an open-air venue in just eight minutes.
Marina Bay Sands
Opened in 2010, the SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, is truly a roof with a view. This rooftop oasis, complete with tree and flower garden paradise, stands over 650 feet in the air and is constructed from 7,000 tons of steel.
Constructed from 1916-23, the Fiat Lingotto factory in Italy featured an assembly line that spiraled upward, through the five floors of the building, to the test track on the roof. Designed by engineer Giacomo Mattè-Trucco and utilizing reinforced concrete throughout, this 1620-foot long and 280-foot wide rooftop raceway was an integral part of the original design. Although the track is no longer in use, it was opened to the public after the building’s conversion to a modern community complex in 1989.
A sturdy roof is a solid investment, so make sure you’re taking care of yours. The folks over at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning offer a wonderful eco-friendly soft wash roof service. They’re able to clean your roof of all the guck and grime and help protect it.
Have you spotted or visited an amazing roof in your travels? If so, where was it located and what did you like about it? Share your experience on Twitter with @NedStevens!