It's a Roof That Lets the Sun In

Sunset, November 1988 | Go to article overview

It's a Roof That Lets the Sun In


The multilayered structure shown above, called a "space-frame" roof, can define an outdoor area with a minimum of wood and overbead coverage. Two overlapping grids of squares and rectangles float above a deck to suggest a roof without blocking sun and also add a dramatic architectural element to the garden.

This deck and roof structure were designed by Portland landscape architect Michael Whitmore for the American Wood Council. Made of pressure-treated lumber, the structure sits at a 450 angle to the two-story house. The frame jogs in and out, creating a random, serrated edge. Some overhead sections cantilever well beyond the supporting 4-by-4 posts. The posts rise from perimeter points of the deck's foundation; some extend almost 10 feet high. The first level of the space frame starts 8 feet above the deck, As the drawings above show, each post is flanked by 2-by-6s, which extend and join other pairs running at right angles to them. The second 2-by-6 layer rests on the lower layer but doesn't mount to the posts. Instead, it attaches to short connector posts sandwiched between, and rising

from, the lower layer of 2-by-6s.

This structure is one of 30 different garden structures in the new Sunset book, Patio Roofs & Gazebos (Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, Calif., 1988; $7.95). With photographs and plans for each project, the 96-page book offers a wide range of designs-from simple space frames and covered entryways to backgarden gazebos and shading trellises.

The book is divided into three sections: a short course on how to plan and design your own structure, a main section consisting of 50 pages of pictures and plans, and a section covering specific building techniques. …

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