Nine Famous Roofs from Around the World


When you see a building, many things get your attention. It could be the shape of the structure. It could be the design of the building. It could also be the setting of the structure. But to many what architecturally sets one building apart from the next is the design of the roof.

Take for example, New York City. It is a city that has a tremendous number of skyscrapers and a history of unique architecture. Starting in the late 1800’s these large building started to pop up and soon they made up the skyline of the city. When you look at the New York City skyline, while it is impressive, the one thing that makes buildings standout from one another is the design of the roof. When you look at the New York City skyline two buildings in particular stand out from the rest: the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. What makes these buildings unique and noticeable are the roofing designs.

The Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are just two of the most famous rooftops. There are many more around the world, each with its own unmistakable design and function. They include buildings that are easily recognizable just with a quick glance. While this is not a definitive list, they include buildings that would be in consideration of anyone compiling a list of famous roofs from around the world.

Sydney Opera House

In 1973, on Sydney Harbor in Australia, the Sydney Opera House was opened to it’s first performances. What makes this building unique are the shells that make up the roof of the facility. The shells make it one of the most unique structures in the world.

Empire State Building

Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building at 102 floors was the tallest building in the world at the time. The art deco styled building makes a unique look to the New York City skyline. The roof of the building consists of a spire which extends into the New York sky, which makes it stands out from the rest of the skyscrapers in the city.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Located in the Vatican City, the St. Peter’s Basilica was completed in 1626. It was constructed in a Renaissance and Baroque styles, and among the architects of the Basilica was Michelangelo. The central dome of the Basilica makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.

Taj Mahal

Built in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal was built in 1653 as a mausoleum. The building is generally considered one of the most unique structure and is visited by over 7 million visitors each year. In 2007 the Taj Mahal was declared the winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

U.S. Capital

The Capital of the United States of America is located in Washington, District of Columbia and is the site of the legislative branch of the country. The original capital was built in 1800. However, it was destroyed during the War of 1812. The rebuilt U.S. Capital was completed in 1819, with the famous dome completed in 1863 and the building is considered one of the most recognizable in the world.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

Located in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, St. Basil’s Cathedral was built in 1561. The spires that adorn the Cathedral is a focal point in Moscow and is recognizable worldwide. The roof of the Cathedral is designed with various colors which helps give it a unique look.

Chrysler Building

Another Art Deco styled building located in New York City is the Chrysler Building. Built in 1930, the Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the world at the time, to be passed by the Empire State Building less than a year later. With the antenna spire on top of the building, it is still one of the most recognizable building in New York City and the world.


The 1972 Summer Olympics brought the construction of the Olympiapark in Munich, Germany. The key structure of the park is the Olympic Stadium. However, the area has many notable buildings including the Olympic Tower, the Carillon and the Olympic Hall.

Wimbledon Centre Court

Wimbledon is located in London, England and is the site of the All England Tennis Championships each year. The tennis Grand Slam event has been played at Wimbledon since 1877. In 2009, the Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof which allows matches to be completed in the rain. The design of the roof makes for a distinctive accent to the famous court.

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