Roofs (also available as English Edition 2/2009)

Flat or pitched – as recently as twenty years ago, an architect’s response to this question was virtually a profession of faith. Only those who championed a horizontal enclosure were said to be modern – which corresponded to contemporary – while those who advocated the sloped version found themselves labelled ‘stuck in the past’. For this reason, planners selected the latter when it was necessary to fulfil zoning specifications or special wishes a client might have. Recent surveys also confirm that the general public’s perception of roofs has changed very little over the years. An overwhelming majority of our contemporaries is still of the opinion that a house should have a discernible roof, whereby the desire for a ‘homey’ atmosphere clearly plays a role. But architects have put the disagreement behind them. Flat roofs and sloped roofs have coexisted – on an equal footing – since Modernism’s rigid dogmas were shed once and for all. Depending upon the circumstances and the problem to be addressed, the same architecture firm may vary the type of roof it implements from project to project. And a special role is increasingly envisioned aside for sloped roofs among avant-garde architects, for example, to generate expressive forms, or to experiment with new materials. Today, foreseeing an additional programme for the roof that goes beyond keeping the elements at bay is more crucial than the fundamental distinction between flat or pitched. This can be with respect to design or function, and may be expressed iconographically, or as ecological green roof, as programmed surface, or as the basis for solar energy systems. In this edition we present a variety of topical roofs, in different forms and materials, ranging from an extravagant, cantilevering concrete slab to the steeply sloped roof of calcareous tufa which gives the overall project a monolithic presence.
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