Stay on Top – Four Remarkable Rooftops

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Rendering: BIG

Amager Bakke in Copenhagen. Energy plant and recreational area in one.

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Rendering: BIG

If your more into hiking, you'll also find trails on the waste-to-energy-plant.

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Rendering: BIG

Slide down the slopes on Amager Resource Center.

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Photo: Schmidt/Hammer/Lassen Architects

The Northern Lights Cathedral shrouded in the glow of the arctic light.

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Photo: Schmidt/Hammer/Lassen Architects

The Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta, Norway.

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Photo: Schmidt/Hammer/Lassen Architects

The spiral shaped rooftop on top of the new Norwegian church.

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Photo: Henning Larsen Architects

Moesgaard Museum piles up from the ground like a natural part of the surroundings.

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Photo: Henning Larsen Architects

The view from the rooftop is stunning.

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Photo: Henning Larsen Architects

Catch the sunrise from the top of Moesgaard Museum.

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Photo: Sigurd Larsen

Model of the Roof House designed by Sigurd Larsen.

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Photo: Sigurd Larsen

A sculptural roof catches the lights from different angles through the day.

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Photo: Sigurd Larsen

The sloped roof also affects the indoor look.

Published
25.10.2017

Some are tall, some are flat. Some are made of tiles while others are loaded with solar panels. Roofs come in many sizes, shapes and materials – and a few of them even have cool and, let’s just say, very unconventional but almost iconic features.

The sporty roof: Amager Bakke, Copenhagen – BIG x SLA
Turning the roof of a waste-to-energy plant into a skiing slope, this project must be a candidate for the title of Ultimate Roof! The waste-to-energy plant, Amager Resource Center in Copenhagen, was in need of renewal – so why not take the opportunity to redesign it for the benefit of local citizens? That seemed to be the thinking at BIG, the architects behind the project. Together with landscape architects from SLA, they are turning the plant’s roof into a recreational public space including vantage points, a fitness area, hiking routes and, of course, a skiing slope.

The project is the first of its kind, and without any existing references the architects have had to develop and construct all solutions for the steep slope from scratch.

If you want to pay the slope a visit, you’ll have to wait until next year, 2018.

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Rendering: BIG

The spiritual roof: Northern Light Cathedral, Alta – Schmidt/Hammer/Lassen x Link Arkitektur
In the northernmost part of the world, where sunlight is sometimes in short supply, we find the next remarkable rooftop. The Northern Light Cathedral is located in Alta, Norway – a city with a strong identity as an observation post for Arctic light and the aurora borealis phenomenon during wintertime. In the shape of a spiral, the church rises from the ground like an ice sculpture, capturing the magnificent light from every side. Here, roof and building meet and melt together in a dynamic idiom, which gives the church an artistic expression far from the classic Nordic church designs.

The cathedral is made of concrete, wood and titanium and can accommodate 350 people in the church room.

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Photo: Schmidt/Hammer/Lassen Architects

The spacious roof: Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus – Henning Larsen Architects x Kirstine Jensens Tegnestue
This remarkable roof is the lid on one of the most famous museums around Aarhus. Here, throughout the year, you can experience permanent exhibitions about our prehistory and several temporary exhibitions with an archaeological and ethnographic touch. But the museum is not only about the inside, it’s just as much about the outside.

The sloping roof is covered in grass and moss and offers a stunning view of the surrounding area. The roof is accessible even when the museum is closed and is a popular place for a Sunday stroll, a picnic or a short pit stop on the way through the hilly landscape. During the summer of 2017, the roof on Moesgaard Museum was even used as a theatre stage for a production of Red Serpent. The spacious roof has many functions, and, right now, a lot of local children and childlike souls are looking forward to the first snow transforming the roof into the best tobogganing slope in the area.

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Photo: Henning Larsen Architects

The sculptural roof: The Roof House, Copenhagen – Sigurd Larsen
We stay in the Nordic countries with this last example from Copenhagen – and what better way to do so than with the Roof House? Both the roof itself and the house beneath it are designed by Berlin-based Danish architect Sigurd Larsen. Embracing the wide spectrum of direct to indirect light, the design creates an ever-changing experience when moving around the spacious house. As the finishing touch, the house is crowned with a sculptural roof of sloped surfaces pointing towards all corners of the world. Besides giving the house a unique and distinctive look from the outside, the roof also contributes to the sculptural expression on the inside, with its skylights helping to bring the daylight indoors.

The Roof House was built in 2016 and measures 150 square metres.

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Photo: Sigurd Larsen