Modern Gable House (Style Spotlight)

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modern gable house

By John Hill


At its root, modern architecture is a break from the past, and in terms of the roof, that break is most explicit. Pitched roofs that traditionally serve to shed rain and snow are commonly eschewed in modernism for flat roofs, which sometimes serve as terraces for reclaiming the land the building occupies.

But modern architecture is not exclusively flat roofs. Pitched roofs of various types can follow from the simplicity and innovation that drives the modern style -- inspired by the vernacular but also modernist pioneers like Gunnar Asplund, who worked in a context where flat roofs were untenable. This ideabook focuses on gables and what makes them modern and different than traditional ones.

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Modern Gable House (Style Spotlight)

The gable in this house is clearly unique in the way the second floor projects beyond the first floor at one end, creating a covered patio in the process. Gray predominates in the exterior's roof and walls, but the gable end is made more distinct by being filled with wood boards.

A similar projection happens in this two-story house, but here it extends down to the first floor and works with the canopy to demarcate the entrance. Wraparound windows take advantage of the slight projection.

The prominent gable on this house in Maine sits above a screened-in porch. The tapering horizontal slots create some interesting lighting in the open space and also help to ventilate it.

The garage for the same house in Maine also features a gable top, an almost platonic prism that seems to float above the stone walls and wood columns below. The simplicity of the roof and wall materials above, as well as the sharpness of the edges, make it particularly modern.

The flared gable for this poolhouse appears to be a progression of three scenarios from back to front: enclosed with shingles, semi-enclosed with shingles, and then open rafters at the patio. This progression makes it appear as though the gable is deconstructed from one end to the other.

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