As children, we loved playing in the attic under the rafters. We found our secret hiding places among dust-covered boxes and old furniture. Playing in the semi-darkness of the attic was a great adventure overall. There was so much to discover – most likely because the attic had no strictly defined use.
Today, attic and rooftop spaces are often assigned highly specific functions. Lofts and rooftop apartments provide additional living space in dense cities. Some urban dwellers go up to the roof to harvest tomatoes or look after their bees. And at the Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm, neighbours gather between the vegetable beds for yoga. Elsewhere, roofs have been designed not as private, but as public places. The steel roof of the new pavilion in Tilburg’s Piushaven harbour doubles as a viewing platform accessible to all. In the heart of Helsinki, the domed skylights of the Amos Rex underground museum enliven the urban space. Located at street level, they form a hilly landscape that has become a popular square and meeting place.
For our December issue, Julia Liese has compiled these and other examples of the great variety of roofs with their functions and building details. Our selection documents current projects with diverse architectural concepts. Lighting can also be a decisive factor, as with the parish church near Munich by Meck Architekten, and the library by Helen & Hard Arkitekter in Grimstad, Norway.