From Brian Meyerson's Bondi Penthouse to Pascal Grasso's Nomiya Restaurant, a look at rooftop refuges that remind us of our fascination with dwelling in alternate layers of the city


Luc Besson's 1997 futuristic movie The Fifth Element opens with a breathtaking scene of a multi-level city. The elevated lifestyle pictured there is still more than a few steps away, and in our everyday architecture rooftops are just an otherwise functionally-obsolete protective cap on buildings. However, the line-up presented here of rooftop refuges is a reminder of the fascination with dwelling in alternate layers of the city. Quite often employing present-day technological advances in prefab structures, the rooftop locations are also a great way of addressing a lot of today's big social issues related to mobility, recycling, and the optimal use of space in overcrowded cities.

View the complete OpenBuildings collection: View From the Top.

Image: Teck Siong Desmond Tan.