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Three Denver Historical Roof Facts
Denver International Airport’s iconic tent-like roofing structure is made out of 15 acres of Teflon-covered PTFE fiberglass. Completed in 1994, the design was meant to represent the snow covered mountains of Colorado. Although aesthetically pleasing, it was built with efficiency and practicality in mind. The material reflects 90% of sunlight, doesn’t conduct heat, and provides sufficient insulation against Denver’s climate. 34 interior columns and 10 miles of steel cable are used to support the two layers of fabric membrane. The fabric spills over the interior to exterior anchorage points that provide shade and protection to those outside the building.
The Denver Library, opened in 1995, is a great example of a postmodern roof design lead by architect Michael Graves. The roofing on the library, held up by an abundance of support beams or braces, isn’t necessary for the building to be structurally sound. Along with bold color choices, it fits with the postmodern design aesthetic that showcases dramatic features that go beyond function.
Built in 1957, The Calvary Temple was considered the “Cathedral of Tomorrow” and can accommodate more than 2,000 people. The large slanted roofing installation was innovative for the time and is a great example of Usonian Architecture in Colorado. In some places, the roof spans 40 feet without any support. A steel beam that goes 91 feet across the center of the ceiling allows for this open space. The four main support columns at the building’s entry weigh 12 tons each and are about 49 feet in length. A companion building was built a couple years later with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof that was the first of its kind in Colorado and the second in the nation.
Denver roofing companies have provided innovative and functional architectural feats for many Denver historical landmarks and will continue to deliver state-of-the-art roofing for years to come.