While most homeowners are more concerned with their roof’s longevity and dependability than overall aesthetics. There are places around the world where the roof is an important ornamental piece of architecture. Here are our top picks for famous roofs around the world.
Domed Roofs of Santorini, Greece
The famous iconic churches with indigo domed roofs are in Oia and Fira on the island of Santorini, Greece. The striking color combination of white and blue is thought to reflect the colors of the Greek flag which was banned for 400 years during Ottoman rule. The dome shape roof allows strong winds or storm surges to pass over without creating structural pressure.
Much of the construction incorporates the surrounding mountainside. The walls are made of lightweight stone called pumice. The pumice provides maximum air-flow to cool for summer and insulate for winter. Local volcanic ash is used to create the white-washed colors of these unique buildings.
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is an incredible complex of five major structures surrounding the center which is actually a mausoleum. It took 22 years to build, completed in 1653 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, as a memorial. The name was derived from the Shah’s deceased wife, Mumtaz Mahal, meaning “Crown Palace”.
The main tomb’s domed roof is made up of many types of white marble bricks from as far away as China, Tibet, Arabia and Afghanistan. Up to 28 different varieties of semi-precious and precious gems were used for the decorative inlay work. More than 1,000 elephants were employed to transport the construction materials.
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is an architectural icon due to its unique roof structure. The shell-type design is made up of over a million individual tiles, imported from Sweden. The roof structure is a series of precast concrete panels with a concrete, rib-shaped understructure. During the early design years, the project was one of the earliest cases of structural analysis by computer. The design team went through twelve different takes on the roof shells to find the optimal, workable form. The shells were finally created as sections of a sphere allowing the varying length of arches and segments to be placed next to each other, forming a sphere-like illusion. Designed by Jorn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House formally opened in late 1973, after a 13 year construction.
Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall
One of the newest iconic structures in the category of ‘green roofs’, is the Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Fukuoka, Japan. This amazing architectural wonder is situated in the middle of a busy, high-tech city. The building is a combination of commercial and open green space featuring 15 green terraced steps that can be explored like a park with walking paths, gardens and reflection pools. The designer is Emilio Ambasz, a specialist in ecological architecture.
Santorini Photo: By Rambling Traveler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Taj Mahal Photo: By Rajesnewdelhi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sydney Opera House Photo: By John Hill (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Fukouaka Prefectural Internal Hall Photo: By Pontafon (Photo created by Pontafon) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons