6 Extraordinary Modern Rooflines

When done right, architecture can serve two masters—function and form


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A home’s roofline is more than a necessary structural component holding the house together, protecting it from the elements. Given the opportunity and expertise, an inspired roofline has the potential to transform your home from just another ordinary box to a magnificent work of architecture.

The form of your home should respond to its site and the influences surrounding it—very seldom is that absolutely rectilinear. Isn’t there a time to let the views, the wind, the sun and the surrounding natural environment influence that form? By incorporating 3-dimensional elements such as curves and angles and expansive walls of glass, the roof itself becomes a sculpture sitting on a base. 

Here, we share six extraordinary modern rooflines that are variations on a theme. They share some DNA, so to speak, but result in sculptural beauty perfectly suited to the home’s environment and the homeowner’s purposes.

Puesta Del Sol

The sculpture of this home is laid out along three spines. The entry, shown here, terminates in the primary bedroom with a glassed-in sitting area. The crossing spine has a glazed terminus to draw one into the living room and terminates in the sitting area off of the kitchen. The third spine organizes the guest area.

Quarry House

This project’s huge soaring roof and large curved window wall serve both to help the homeowners engage with the dramatic views and create a strong, expansive sculpture. We believe when done right, architecture can serve two masters—function and form. One does not need to follow the other.


Strong angular forms built from stone harvested a quarter mile away anchor this project on the mountainside. The gently curved roof elements act as a counterpoint to the heavy stone masses. The negative spaces created by the interplay of the light and heavy forms are used to create the entry, the gardens, niches and, as shown here, the pond.

Squaw Creek 2

Rectilinear forms with simple roofs are laid out like a string of pearls connected by angular stone forms. Large overhangs shelter the primary living spaces from the sun but are raised high enough to not crop the views of the mountain peaks. 

Waterstone 029f

Located at the bottom of a canyon, the stone walls are battered in response to the natural hillside. The curved copper elements focus the occupants on the pond and stream. The site walls reach out and engage with the site.


This home is a direct response to the pastoral views of a golf course and the hillsides beyond. The house is a little higher than the course, so the sweeping curved window wall is outward leaning to draw the occupants’ eyes to the fairway.

Jack Snow is the co-founder of RKD Architects Inc., a boutique firm based in Vail, Colorado, that specializes in resort and mountain architecture, with the goal of creating excellent design. View their profile or contact Jack at 970-926-2622.

Content for this article provided by RKD Architects Inc.

Categories: Architects, Native Content