Design Forces and Agents of Change in the Flat Unresolved Rooftop

By Simone Medio.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When we look at buildings from above, we are likely to see a landscape of asphalt, gravel, or concrete-clad flat rooftops. In that instance, there is a clear, immediate drop in design tension between the building’s façade and its corresponding rooftop. In most cases, flat rooftops are situated in the back-alley of buildings, prone to the allocation of mechanical systems or adapted to open air roof gardens in need of shelter. The roof, however, is arguably at the heart of architectural design with the potential for generating technologically innovative and evolved architecture. This paper builds on a study previously conducted by the author entitled “The Unresolved Rooftop” and expands on the relationship between the building’s design process and the level of rooftop design investigation. The aim of this paper is to foster a disengagement of the unresolved rooftop in the design process and to reinstate full design investigation at rooftop level. The paper uses a qualitative and quantitative research methodology; it considers key elements of the design process (i.e. design program, contextual investigation, and technological integration) and attempts to bring forth and question the design forces that impinge on the resilience of the unresolved rooftop and individuate design-led agents of change.

Keywords: Unresolved Rooftop, Design Process, Design Change, Architectural Innovation, Technological Innovation

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2014, pp.19-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.168MB).

Simone Medio

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK