Roof Designs From Around the World

Architecture throughout the ages has seen developments in roofing design become as varied as the buildings themselfs . From the angular lines of Le Corbusier to the complexity of Gothic buildings of the late medieval period and everything in between. Roofing has both functional and aesthetic appeal. In this article we have shared some of the worlds most popular roofing designs that serve both form and function, both classic and modern.


Flat Roof

Simple angular lines made fashionable in the 20th century modernism movement, led by Le Corbsier. To this day have a timeless futuristic appeal, with the juxture position of hard lines agains the soft landscape. The flat roof design produces a very sharp and modern look. The symmetry and simplicity offered by a flat roof is architecturally pleasing. Proper maintenance will make it an economical proposition. Flat roofs are easier to climb on and inspect – an advantage they exhibit over many roof types. They are also cheaper to re-coat and install as compared to sloped roofs.

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A ­Frame House

This roof design is perfect for houses in the mountains or surrounded by vegetation. The steep, close to the floor design allows for vegetation and snow to slide down its flanks without excessive build up, making this a very durable design. This type of roof is very similar to the simple gabled roof. The difference is that the A-Frame Houses slopes start nearer the foundation. Production is inexpensive and was very popular after World War II.

Prabu Rajasekaran Consulting:          1, Nov, 2014 • Page 1

This roofing style combined with a beam and brick farm style like the one in the image below can create a very rustic feel.
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Terrace Roof

Terrace roofs allow you to turn a flat roof into usable space. This type of roof is popular among coastline properties in the UK and around the world. A terrace roof adds an extra vantage point to the entire house so you can enjoy the scenery.

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Gabled Roof

This is a very common roof design. This design is both practical and timeless. This style takes inspiration from saltbox, Hip and A-framed styles, creating a modern classic feel. A choice of colour and the right material can really change the whole look and feel of this type of house. A gable is actually a triangle shaped part of wall caught between the edges of a dual pitched roof.

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Hip Roof

This style is seen in many American houses. This type of roof with all the sides sloping toward the walls, creates a nice geometrical symmetry. The hip roof has no gables and has many variants such as the Dutch gablet ( a hip roof with a small gable), tented roof (it has steeply pitched slopes) and mansard roof, among many others.

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Mansard Roof

The earliest known example of a mansard roof is credited to Pierre Lescot on part of the Louvre built around 1550. This roof design was popularised in the early 17th century by François Mansart (1598–1666), an accomplished architect of the French Baroque period.The style was adapted over time to the needs of the modern era. A mansard roof is a very practical type of roof because it allows easy loft/attic conversion.

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Saltbox Roof

This roof design can be seen in many classic homes. The roof has a pitched roof with two slopes: one running toward the front of the house and the other toward the back. The back slope is longer than the front one because the house has only one story in the back and two in front. It is generally suitable for a wooden house and it has two more particular elements: the flat front and one or more chimneys. Saltbox roofs were popular structures throughout the American colonial period.

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Rainbow Roof

This unusual type of roof was seen in a few New England seacoast communities, namely those of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. It is perhaps a eighteenth-century creation rather than a seventeenth-century type. The effect of the subtly curved roof is very graceful, as well as being a symbol of neat workmanship. The rainbow roof goes by many names: whaleback roof, Gothic roof, gambrel roof or ship’s bottom roof.

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Conical Roof

Like any other roof this type of roof can be fit on open nailers or solid sheathing. The conical roofs are pleasing to the eye. Thatched conical roofs are charming, as seen in the tropics. To give a slightly “native” effect, constructions nearby beaches and seafronts use this style of roof.

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