4 Roofing Marvels That Will Cause Your Jaw to Drop

Five years ago I accepted a Marketing position with Alpine SnowGuards and to say that since then I’ve learned a lot about the roofing industry, would be a HUGE understatement.

I swear I’ve learned enough about snow guards, roofing and solar to fill a book, or an “abridged edition” at the very least….and I guarantee that’s just the tip of the iceberg,

As I’ve learned all of these new things, I’ve noticed that I’m also paying WAY more attention to roofs in general, which I guess makes sense. It’s amazing the things you notice when you have an active interest.

Through all of this learning, I’ve stumbled across some pretty remarkable rooftops all over the world.  Some of these are bound to either make you smile, raise your eyebrows, laugh, or scratch your head – or maybe all 4. You also may be inspired. And if not, at least you’ll be entertained, which in my book, counts almost as much.

Take a peek at these 4 incredible roofs, and be prepared to pick your jaw off the floor a few times in the process….

Pagaruyung Palace, West Sumatra, Indonesia

Anyone know the architectural style of this house? Don’t worry, I didn’t either. It’s a rumah gadang. I bet you’re glad I cleared that up for you 😉

Rumah gadang. It translates to “big house”. The Indonesian houses feature dramatically curved roofs structured with upswept gables in multiple tiers.This particular palace boasts three stories, 72 pillars, and the buffalo-horn-like curved roof, which was constructed using 26 tons of black ijuk aren palm fibers.

A few custom snow guard ideas a running through my head right now, but since Indonesia is mostly equatorial in climate, I guess I should leave those ideas right there, in my head.

Casa Acantilado, Salobrena, Spain

Traditional techniques and modern architecture are used to create amazing forms such as this roof in Spain. So, how was it constructed? The architect, Jaime Bartolome, first added a network of rebar, which was woven over strips of steel curved at intervals along the roof pitch.

Next, the rebar was cast into a singular span, with reinforced concrete serving as the roof slab. Zinc shingles (elZinc® Natural) were turned up slightly on the corners to resemble a reptilian surface.

Ferrari World Theme Park, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

When I was growing up, way back in the 80’s, we watched the Garfield cartoon on Saturday mornings. Remember the cat named Nermal? He was the cute little cat who annoyed Garfield constantly, who, in turn, would put Nermal in a box, tape it closed and stamp it with a big “ABU DHABI” label.

Not sure if Nermal ever made it there or not, but something did…this GIGANTIC roof design! Good thing, since this is the largest indoor theme park in the world. Ferrari World is also home to the fastest roller coaster in the world. And for the trifecta, Ferrari World also sports the world’s largest metal standing seam roof on the planet.

How cool is that?!?!

Steve Jobs Theater, Apple Park, Cupertino, California

44 identical radial panels connected to a small central “hub”, the roof on Steve Jobs Theater was assembled and tested in Dubai prior to shipment to California.

The lens shaped roof appears to “float” above a 22 foot tall glass cylinder. Although it looks to be floating effortlessly above the structure, the carbon-fiber roof is actually the largest of its kind. Electric conduits and a sprinkler system are integrated into the silicone joints between the curved glass roof panels.

Another legacy left by the man who started the iMovement.

Rooftops like these show how varied, beautiful, massive, and distinct a roof can be.  What will your next roof be?  Will you opt for metal, shingles, tile, membrane, slate, or shake?  Or something different altogether?  Will you choose to add solar panels, skylights, or a rooftop garden?  What about an elaborate painting?  The sky is (literally) the limit, and with so many talented roofing professionals out there, the next remarkable roof is likely in the works as you read this.

One last thought: If you’re planning on attending the Beacon Product Expo in Denver next week, stop over and say hi to the Alpine SnowGuards crew!

We keep snow in its place



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Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do.

Images by: sigzincandcopper.co.uk, OmniMax, rebrn.com and Cult of Mac