15 Famous Roofs from Around the World

A roof is a basic part of any building that we rely on for security and protection. But that’s not to say it needs to be something boring and mundane. Here at JTC Roofing, we’ve put together a list of 6 famous and iconic roof designs from around the world to highlight some fine examples of what can be done!

Sydney Opera House, Australia

sydney-753841_1920This unique structure is renowned throughout the world. It’s curvaceous panels are made from precast concrete panels covered in Swedish tiles to create the pristine and gleaming appearance. The Opera House took 14 years to construct and complete, costing a grand total of 102 million Australian dollars!

Olympiapark, Munich, Germany

Built for the Olympic Games in 1972, Olympiapark is now used as a venue for social and cultural events, and even some religious events too when it is used as a place of worship. The building is set apart from the ‘ordinary’ with its skinned roof made from a lightweight material. It is even possible to walk up the roof and zipline down from the top – if you’re feeling brave enough!

Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

As the official residence of the King of Siam, the Grand Palace lies at the heart of Bangkok itself. The ‘Golden Roof’ as a whole is made up of complex ornaments symbolic to Thai culture and heritage. Built in 1782, this grand building is still visited by many today who admire the intricacy of detail and creativity that has gone into this architectural landmark.

Domed roofs, Santorini, Greece

Santorini’s blue domed churches and whitewashed roofs are practical for their reflective ability, helping keep the building’s occupants cool and comfortable inside. These roofs also have cisterns to catch any water running off the roof, as rain is somewhat sparse in the warmer Grecian climates.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria

The multi-coloured tile roof of St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, is one of the most recognisable symbols in the city. The ornately patterned roof is covered by 230,000 tiles, with over 600 metric tonnes of steel bracing supporting the exterior underneath! Completed in 1160, this historical building is a site not to be missed by visitors to Vienna.

Red tiled houses of Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik’s Old Town was under siege from 1991-1992 by Serbian forces. During this time, the town was damaged during shelling, therefore, the red tiled rooftops are fairly new given the age of the town itself due to the restoration that took place following the attack.

Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Opened in 1989, the six-tiered Chinese temple dedicated to Goddess, Tian Hou, The Heavenly Mother, displays a combination of modern architectural techniques with traditional design. The temple has multiple functions, used as a house of worship, a function venue for events and now a tourist attraction too!

Beaune, Burgundy France

Beanue’s multi-coloured glazed-tile roofing is an integral part of Burgundy, known as France’s wine capital. The ornate polychrome roofs were traditionally shown as a status symbol in the 13th and 14th Centuries, and have remained a part of the area ever since. The current tiles that can be seen adorning the buildings are replicas installed in the early 1900s, with materials sourced from around France.


St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Built in the Renaissance style of architecture, St Peter’s Basilica is a famous church located in the Vatican City, regarded as one of the largest and holiest Catholic places of worship. The building’s central dome is recognisable from the skyline, and is one of the largest domes in the world.


Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Commissioned in 1632, the iconic Taj Mahal is most recognisable by it’s stunning symmetrical white architecture, topped by a beautiful marble dome at nearly 35 metres high with four smaller domes placed at each corner. The dome is finished with a lotus design at the top, and is topped by a gilded finial to really accentuate its height.


St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia


St. Basil’s Cathedral, located in Moscow, is one of the city’s most famous landmarks due to it’s vivid colours and stunning design of eight domed spires.  The famously colourful and patterned domes were added in several stages from the 1680s to the 1860s as Russian styles changed, with colourful hues heavily favoured in the 17th Century – but not much else is known about the history behind the legendary building!

United States Capitol Dome, Washington D.C

The seat of the United States Congress is instantly recognisable due to the 88m high dome that sits atop the building. Constructed between 1855 and 1866, the huge cast-iron dome was carefully painted to blend in with the main capitol building. Sitting atop the famous dome is the Statue of Freedom, welcoming all guests to the building.

Chrysler Building, NYC, USA

The art-deco design of the Chrysler Building is one of the most recognisable figures on the New York skyline, with a beautiful roof composed of seven terraced arches designed in a sunburst pattern. Be sure to check out the Chrysler building at night, when the many lighting systems make the top of the structure a truly spectacular sight!


The Great Court of the British Museum, London, UK

The Great Court in the British Museum is a two-acre space enclosed by a glazed canopy designed and installed using state-of-the-art engineering techniques. The geometric design consist of over 3,000 panels of glass weighing a total of 800 tonnes, and surrounds the world-famous Reading Room of the museum. Not only is this roof a stunning sight for all to see, but it’s make-up also means the glass reduces solar gain and filters ultraviolet light for a more environmentally friendly design.

Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain

Many fans of Gaudi flock to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, but Casa Mila is a sight not to be missed. First started in 1906 and completed in 1910, Gaudi’s design in one of the most remarkable sights you’ll see in the city. The roof is one of the most remarkable features of the building, with skylights, fans, chimneys and staircase exits all constructed out of lime-covered brick and broken marble or glass, becoming stunning sculptures integrated into the building itself.


At JTC Roofing, we are leading roofing contractors specialising in the finest metal roofing. Whether it’s ecclesiastical, industrial or domestic roofing you’re in need of, please contact the expert team at JTC Roofing for more information.



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