Posts Tagged ‘skillion roof’

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More Points of Architecture.

July 27, 2012

Japanese House by Naf Architect and Design Inc., Tokyo

Suburban New Jersey House

These two examples, though geographically and culturally far apart, may have more in common than would first appear.  If considered independently, they each look “weird.”  In context we see a highly designed Japanese house (top) set on an urban infill lot, and a home made remodel job (bottom) in a New Jersey suburb, both standing out by dint of contrast with their surroundings;  resulting mainly  from the strong visual statement made by another example of the here often discussed pointed roof. Then imagine the New Jersey house without the gable and the arched windows.  Does it start to appear a bit cool, more like its Japanese counterpart?  Now think what would happen if they were switched;  if we send the Japanese house to the suburban location or vise versa?  This scenario actually showed up in a previous post as well.

Finally, consider the houses as they appear in the photos here?  Does not the NJ house start to look a little less strange?  Clearly setting them next to each other here has a moderating affect, demonstrating the point, sorry for the pun, of this discussion which must be the importance of context.  Extremes in architecture are not easy to pull off.  They often show up in high design and high design “wana a bees.”  The difference between them is often contextual.

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Wish I’d a done it!

July 10, 2012

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What would you call this;  sustainable, green, high design, trendy, rustic, maybe vernacular?  Mostly I would call it beautiful.  This project is designed with utterly single minded focus around two functions.  One of them is the collection and storage of water and the other is cooling, natural or otherwise.  The fact that the building is energy efficient and serves as an outpatient health clinic becomes almost irrelevant, taken for granted in the face of such resolute purpose of design.  The place could as easily be a house, barn, shop, or school room.  Whatever the final purpose, it will be cool and have water.  Rare, indeed, is the project with a program so simple as to beget such an elegant solution, and by the way, it was commissioned by a sophisticated collaboration between government and charitable organizations, not exactly what I would term “real people.”  There must be a lesson here?

You can read about project details here.

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“Points” of architecture.

May 4, 2012

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A skillion roof, also known as a half gable or free standing shed, presents an extremely strong visual form.  It points, including everything that implies.  Actually, there are some real technical reasons for its use, i.e., snow removal, cost savings, which almost never outweigh the visual consequences.  When they show up in working class sections of historic towns, as in the first few examples in the slide show, practicality has clearly prevailed.  By some stylistic accident of modernism, the form reappears just as some of these old towns are expanding.  Design neophytes quickly relate the profile of the old and the new without also demonstrating the sophistication required for its use.  Any architect can tell you that the successful use of skillion roofs can be most often found in highly designed modern or modern style building and/or utilitarian applications.