As much as they were used traditionally, pitched roofs lost their allure at the turn of the twentieth century with the advent of modernism. The clean straight lines that expressed horizontality in contemporary architecture could only be done with flat roofs. The sloping roof did come back though, and has been used in exceedingly futuristic ways that not only express the modern aesthetic, but can prove to be quite functional as well in certain climatic conditions. 

The 20 houses below use the sloping roof in unique ways! 

1. House in Usuki | Sloping Roofs

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House in Usuki_©Kenta Eto Architects

The House in Usuki by Kenta Eto Architects uses a sloping roof that meets the ground plane so that the residents can easily walk up to the highest point on the house to take advantage of the scenery around. The rectangular-cut in the roof doubles up as a courtyard on the rear end.

2. Wood-Clad House

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Wood-Clad House_©

The Wood Clad House in Utah by ParkCity Design + Build is the perfect addition to the snowy landscape it’s in, using the sloping roof to drain the excess water and snow that falls upon it. The wooden cladding makes it feel warmer in an otherwise cold climate.

3. Wallace Street House 

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Wallace Street House_©

The Wallace Street House by Campos Architects in British Columbia is situated in a park, and uses burnt wood as a cladding material. The sleek trim without any overhangs only adds more drama to the dark façade. 

4. Courtyard Villa

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Courtyard Villa_©

The Courtyard Villa by ARCHSTUDIO in China consists of a central sloping roofed form that sits gingerly upon four individually scattered rooms. The space below serves common functions like the lobby and dining areas, whereas the rooms are more private. The charred wooden tiles provide an interesting contrast to the red brick structure.

5. House in Sao Paulo | Sloping Roofs

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House in Sao Paulo_©

The house in Sao Paulo by Obra Arquitetos uses a dramatic pitched roof that spans the entire length of the house. The angled roof extends out to shade the exterior spaces that hold functions like outdoor dining and a pool area.

6. Rehabilitation of Masía

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Rehabilitation of Masía_©

The Rehabilitation of Masia in Ventahola by Damian Ribas Architecture is an adaptive reuse project that sought to convert an old rundown barn into a habitable space. The elevation retains half of the previous structure and the original sloping roof and simply inserts glass and steel to create a contrast between the old and new.

7. Barn Rijswijk

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Barn Rijswijk_©

The Barn Rijswijk by Workshop architecten in the Netherlands is a project that converts an old barn into apartment space. The asymmetrical pitch from the right to left in the elevation creates a dynamic effect, and the use of black stained Douglas wood as the cladding material only makes it more apparent.

8. House 11 x 11 

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House 11 x 11_©×11-by-titus-bernhard-architekten/

The House 11 x 11 by Titus Bernhard Architekten in Munich is a visual delight in many ways—the vertical wooden members go up the elevation and turn the corner to form the sloping roof of the house, without any horizontal members to hold them in place. The space between these battens increases or decreases based upon the inner organization of rooms.

9. Casa A

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Casa A_©

The Casa A by Metodo Architects in Mexico lives precisely up to its name—it is essentially a structural form that imitates the letter A by using steel members that converge as they go up. The structure is expressed in its uncladded state as it becomes a part of several rooms on the inside.

10. The Habitat House | Sloping Roofs

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The Habitat House_©

The Habitat House by Featherstone Young Architects in Britain uses natural materials for sustainable living. The architects combine these locally resourced materials with a green roof as part of living with nature.

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Varun is a Masters in Architecture graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As an architect, he is passionate about good design, interactivity with architecture, walkability, and dense cities. When not working, he tries to find time for sketching, going for a swim or reading architectural theory.