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Shed Style refers to a style of architecture that makes use of planar angled roofs (commonly called "shed roofs") as opposed to the common gable roof, and a heavy overall use of exposed wooden surfaces. Such structures are often inspired by traditional mountain lodge architecture, but are much more modernistic in their execution, typically appearing as a conglomeration of wedge-shaped forms.
The style originated from the designs of architects Charles Willard Moore and Robert Venturi in the 1960s. Their works were influential to the style that would include the Sea Ranch in California (Moore), and the Vanna Venturi House (Venturi).
Beginning in the late 1960s, Shed style architecture experienced the peak of its popularity in the 1970s, where it was commonly used for houses, schools and small office buildings. This style largely died out in urban areas in the late 1980s, mostly due to the high maintenance requirements of the wooden exteriors, but has remained popular in forested regions.
Clerestory windows are a common feature, since roof planes are offset and do not form peaks. Coniferous trees are usually used in the surrounding landscaping, adding to the "woodsy" feel of the architecture. Translucent panels of fluorescent lighting are often seen interlaced with wooden surfaces on interior ceilings.
The style has re-appeared in recent years with the increased popularity of passive-solar designs, because windows are often angled towards a single direction, and the recent advent of vinyl siding which does not weather as wood does.
Apart from the clerestory style of roofing, there are several other styles of shed roofs which are still popular when constructing buildings especially in wooded areas.
The gambrel style of shed roof has two symmetrical slopes on either side of the roof. The upper slope is at a shallow angle while the lower slope is much steeper. This roof design help provide maximum overhead storage space beneath the roof.
In this style of roofing, the roof and side walls are one and the same. The entire building is covered by a huge A shaped roof, where the slopes of the roof also serve as the side walls of the building.
Hip Roof Style
This is one of the more stable roof designs because in this design the roof slopes on all four sides of the building at a shallow angle. The lower pitch of the roof and its stronger diagonal bracing makes it ideal for use in buildings located in windy regions.
This design is characterized by a gable roof with a steep pitch and one or more dormers. The unique look of this design is due to the presence of a dormer over the door and sometimes even over the windows.
Originally a part of American colonial architecture, the saltbox design is characterized by a higher roof-line in front of the building and a lower roof-line at back of the building. This gives the building a look similar to the wooden boxes in which salt was stored in colonial times and hence it is called the saltbox roof style.
- McAlester, Virginia and Lee (1996). A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 484.
- "Shed Style". Architectural Style Guide. Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Shed Styles". 17 Shed Styles For Building A Beautiful And Long-Lasting Shed. Retrieved 8 Dec 2014.
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