Taj Mahal to Beune: the Most Iconic Roofs in the World
Just because roofs are an essential part of most buildings, it doesn’t mean they have to be boring. From the Domed Roofs in Santorini to Sydney Opera House, stunning roofing architecture can be observed globally. Read on to discover the most iconic roofs from around the world.
Sydney Opera House, Australia
One of the most recognisable buildings in the world, the roof of the Sydney Opera House has a whopping 1,056,000 glazed-white granite tiles that have been imported from Sweden. With this design and concept earning the Pritzker Prize in 2003, one of the architecture world’s greatest honours, this roof is undoubtedly among the most impressive roofs on the planet.
Domed Roofs, Santorini, Greece
Santorini’s blue domed churches and whitewashed roofs are renowned for their reflective ability, helping keep the building’s occupants cool and comfortable inside. These roofs also have cisterns to catch any water running off the roof, as rain is somewhat rare in the warm Greek summer.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria
The stunning multi-coloured tile roof of St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, is one of the most recognisable symbols in the city. The ornately patterned roof is covered by 230,000 tiles, with over 600 metric tonnes of steel bracing supporting the exterior underneath. Completed in 1160, this historical building is a site not to be missed by visitors to Vienna.
Red Tiled Houses of Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia
The famous red tiled houses in Dubrovnik’s Old Town are a relatively new addition to the city; after the town was under siege by Serbian forces in 1991-2, many buildings had to be restored. These distinctive red roofs are one of the most memorable features of Dubrovnik, and are particularly photogenic in the early morning.
Beune, Burgundy, France
In a country renowned for its stunning architecture, Beune’s multi-coloured glazed-tile roofing stands out nevertheless. These ornate polychrome roofs were traditionally shown as a status symbol in the 13th and 14th Centuries, and have remained a part of the area ever since. The current tiles that can be seen adorning the buildings are replicas installed in the early 1900s, with materials sourced from around France.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The Taj Mahal is most recognisable by its mesmerising symmetrical white architecture topped by a beautiful marble dome at nearly 35 metres high with four smaller domes placed at each corner. The dome is inlayed with lotus design and patterns, sketched, painted and moulded to create a designer masterpiece – in fact, the dome measures 26.5 metres high and 17.6 metres wide.
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