From the Editorial DETAIL 5.2023
Far More than the Fifth Fassade
In the days when the urban flaneur still approached buildings from the pedestrian perspective, the facade was considered the identity-creating face of a building. The barely visible roof was secondary; its significance was to be rehabilitated with the designation fifth facade. At the latest after the introduction of Google Earth and the increasing use of camera drones, this understanding has been reversed. Today, the vertical view, i.e. the roof, is often the first impression we have of buildings.
In the current issue, we show less spectacular examples that have one thing in common: They are in the context of historic roofs. Dietrich Untertrifaller's wide overhanging wooden roof ducks into the landscape within sight of Munich's Olympic tent, as does the extension to Sanaa's Sydney Modern art museum overlooking Jørn Utzon's opera house. Both simple yet distinctive flat roofs are easy to find on Google Earth. But they reveal their real quality inside: Light, freshness and generosity.