Art and Architecture: Roofs Are the New Hats: Exploring Atlanta Rooftops With Art

Curbed Atlanta

Those of us who are not helicopter pilots, architects or birds don't often consider how Atlanta houses look from above or what our rooftops say about our homes. But Jennifer Bonner does. The artist, Georgia Tech assistant professor and recipient of the AIA Young Architects Forum's "Emerging Voices Award" created an art exhibit called Domestic Hats to demonstrate the homogeneous, cut-and-paste nature of rooftops in neighborhoods such as Ansley Park, Old Fourth Ward, Cabbagetown and Midtown and to promote "misbehavior in architecture."

On one wall of the 10,000-square-foot exhibit, on display at the Goat Farm during last weekend's Living Walls event, Bonner displays white massing models of 49 real Atlanta homes, complete with addresses. In the main display area, 15 mega models and one, um, mega-mega model of fictional houses are topped with roofs that combine and distort traditional roof typologies. They create brand new forms, wilder and more experimental than anything you'll see in an actual neighborhood. The gable and hip roofs so common in the city are merged with less common butterfly and mansard roofs then stretched and manipulated with Boolean operations (math to the rescue!) into something entirely new to inspire architectural playfulness. The wall of the exhibit asks, "What if the overly complex roofs seen in Buckhead are celebrated and further exaggerated?" The concept began as part of a curriculum initiative at Georgia Tech aptly called "It's All About the Roof." It really does make you wonder how intriguing the world would be if our domicile's "hats" were a bit less dull.
[Photos 1-4 via Jennifer Bonner. Photos 5-10 by Terry Kearns. Last two by Curbed Atlanta.]

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