Ah, the butterfly roof. So named because it looks like two wings coming together in the middle, this unique roof style has been gaining popularity in recent years – and for good reason! Not only does it add a touch of architectural flair, but it can also help to increase natural light and ventilation.
Critics have called Southern California’s butterfly roofs a “monolithic blight” and compared them to “giant parabolic satellite dishes.” But love them or hate them, there’s no denying that these V-shaped features are one of the most distinctive elements of the region’s architecture. The style can be traced back to 1930, when Le Corbusier devised (but never built) a vacation home in Chile with the signature roofline. However, it was Krisel who really made the butterfly roof take flight.
Some say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, then Czech architect Antonin Raymond must have been very flattered when he saw his own design for a home in Japan appear in Architectural Record in 1934. That’s because Marcel Breuer, one of the most famous architects of the 20th century, copied Raymond’s design for the Geller House on Long Island, which was completed in 1945. Breuer wasn’t the only one who was impressed by Raymond’s work; many other architects have used butterfly roofs for their eye-catching angles and eco-friendly properties, which include the ability to collect rainwater and incorporate larger windows. So if you see a butterfly roof, you can be sure that it was inspired by some very talented architects!
- 1 Advantages of Butterfly Roofs
- 2 Disadvantages of Butterfly Roofs
Advantages of Butterfly Roofs
1. They’re Eye-Catching
As we mentioned before, butterfly roofs are definitely one of the most distinctive features of Southern California’s landscape. And while some people may not be fans of their “monolithic” look, there’s no denying that they always manage to turn heads. If you’re looking for a way to make your home stand out from the rest, then a butterfly roof is definitely the way to go!
2. They Help With Water Collection
Since butterfly roofs are sloped in a V-shape, they’re able to collect rainwater very effectively. This can be a huge advantage if you live in an area with water restrictions (like California!) or if you simply want to find a way to reduce your water bill.
3. They Allow for More Natural Light
The sloped design of butterfly roofs also allows for more natural light to enter the home. This can be a great way to reduce your energy costs, as you won’t have to rely on artificial lighting as much during the day.
4. They Improve Ventilation
Butterfly roofs are also excellent at improving ventilation. The V-shape allows hot air to rise and escape through the openings at the peak of the roof, which helps to keep your home cool and comfortable during the summer months.
Disadvantages of Butterfly Roofs
1. They’re Not Suitable for All Climates
While butterfly roofs are great at keeping homes cool in warm climates, they’re not as effective in colder climates. That’s because the V-shape allows heat to escape from the home, which can make it very difficult to keep warm during the winter months.
2. They Require Special Materials
Butterfly roofs are also notoriously difficult to build, which means that you’ll need to use special materials and hire experienced contractors in order to get the job done right. This can end up being very expensive, so it’s important to factor that into your budget before you decide to go ahead with this type of roof.
3. They’re Not Always eco-Friendly
Although butterfly roofs can help with water collection and natural light, they’re not always the most eco-friendly option. That’s because the special materials and construction required can often result in a lot of waste.
So, there you have it! A complete guide to butterfly roofs. Now that you know all about their advantages and disadvantages, you can decide for yourself whether or not this type of roof is right for your home.