The average American house roof is largely functional: when your roof is flawed or damaged, it can ruin your entire home. So we take roof-functionality very seriously at Apex Exteriors. But roofs are an important part of the aesthetic value of your home, too. And while most of us will never live anywhere that has a roof anything like the roofs we’re about to show you, we love to share inspiring architecture. Take at look at our nine most favorite roofs from around the world and throughout history.
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
China’s Forbidden City was built in the early 1400s and was used as the imperial palace for almost 500 years. In general, Chinese architecture emphasizes symmetry and horizontal layouts, which you can see both in the roof style and the overall layout of the Forbidden City in this image. The roofing materials are mostly glazed tiles.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The Taj Mahal, one of the most famous tourist sites in India, is actually a mausoleum. It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, in the 1600s to be the final resting place of his favorite wife. The beautiful onion-shaped dome atop the building is about 115 feet high, made of gleaming white marble.
Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
One of the most iconic modern roofs in the world is the roof of the Sydney Opera House. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building was constructed between 1959 and 1973. The exact design and the engineering of the opera house’s iconic roof was problematic but the design team eventually came up with a workable solution for the design: the shells were constructed as sections of a sphere, which allowed arches to be cast from a common mould, even when they were of different lengths. The precast concrete shells are covered with ceramic tiles.
White Rooftops, Santorini, Greece
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands, southeast of the mainland of Greece. Throughout the Cyclades islands you can find the area’s hallmark brilliantly white buildings, but one of the most iconic views is that of the blue cupola of the Oia church in Santorini.
St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
This iconic roof is located in Red Square and it is known by a number of names: Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, and Pokrovsky Cathedral. It was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 1500s to commemorate battle successes. Its brightly colored roof tops were designed to resemble a bonfire, with flames rising into the sky and it is complete unique in Russian architecture. When the program of state-enforced atheism began in the early 20th century, the church was confiscated from the Russian Orthodox church, secularized, and turned into a museum.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), Vienna, Austria
From afar, you might think St. Stephen’s Cathedral is just like any other 14th century Gothic cathedral, but you’ll want to get a closer look at its beautiful and unique multi-colored roof. Using 230,000 glazed tiles, the roof design is a mosaic of the Hapsburg dynasty’s double-headed eagle, the coat of arms of Vienna, and the coat of arms of Austria.
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
The dome of St. Peter’s Basillica is nearly 450 feet from the floor to the top of the external cross, making it the tallest dome in the world. The dome was completed in 1590, after being designed (and re-designed) and worked on by a succession of architects, most famously, Michaelangelo. Because of the design of the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica, the magnificent dome is almost completely obscured when viewed from St. Peter’s Square. The best view of the exterior of the dome is from afar, but getting to view the dome from the inside is an amazing moment for people of all beliefs.
Chrysler Building, New York City, United States
Finished in 1930, the Chrysler Building is a spectacular example of the Art Deco style of architecture. It stands at over 1000 feet tall and is the largest brick building in the world. One of the most beautiful parts of the Chrysler Building is its crown. Architect William Van Alen designed the top of the building as a series of seven terraced arches that are covered with stainless steel. One of the best views of the Chrysler Building’s beauty is from the Empire State Building. If you time your visit right, getting to see the setting sun sparkling off the stainless steel building is one of the most breathtaking sites in New York City.
Millennium Park Green, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago has been a world leader in architectural trends since the late 19th century and the city’s devotion to green roofs is no different. In fact, Chicago is home to more buildings with green roofs than anywhere in the world. Even Chicago City’s Hall has a beautiful meadow, filled with plants native to the area, on its roof. Chicago is also home to the largest green roof in the world – in fact, most people don’t even know that it’s a roof because it’s called Millennium Park. The park, which is over 20,000 square feet, sits stop a massive underground parking garage and is home to gardens, ponds, walking paths, and concert venues.
These roofs are magnificent examples of the capabilities of human creativity and ingenuity. But no roof is more important than the roof on your home. At Apex Exteriors, we strive to make your home a safe, happy, and secure place. So if you’re considering a new roof or just need roof repairs, you can trust Apex Exteriors to bring as much care and attention to your project as the architects of these great roofs did to their work.