What Are Flat-Roof Houses Called? (7 Styles Explained)

Flat roofs are a distinct feature of modern architectural styles. Many people gravitate towards flat-roof houses because they offer some benefits. They’re generally cost-effective and they have a minimalist aesthetic that looks clean and simple.

A flat roof can also provide additional outdoor space. It can be converted into a rooftop deck that can be used for a variety of functions. It can be a space for relaxing, entertaining guests, or to place a small herb garden.

Here are the different styles of flat-roof houses:

House designed in the International Bauhaus Style viewed from the Garden. Brno, Czech Republic - September 13 2020: Villa Tugendhat Modernist House designed By Mies van der Rohe in the International Bauhaus Style viewed from the Garden.

1. Modernist Houses

Modernist houses feature the use of modern materials and technologies in construction. This style emerged in the early 20th century.

The design of these houses features flat roofs, geometric shapes, and clean and simple lines, with function over form in mind.

For modernist houses, the most common materials used are steel, concrete, and glass to add brightness and provide a sense of openness to the space.

This architectural style usually features an open floor plan to make the interiors appear bigger and brighter. The indoors flow seamlessly into the outdoors with the use of large windows and sliding glass doors, connecting the indoor living spaces to the outdoor decks or patios.

This style of house is well-suited to individuals who like a simple and functional home in neutral colors and minimalist designs, and with lots of open and large spaces.

2. Contemporary Houses

Although modernist houses and contemporary houses are both characterized by clean lines and simple designs, they have some distinct features that make them different from one another.

Contemporary houses are more fluid and flexible in terms of design. They’re not limited to a certain style or a specific set of design principles.

These houses have flat roofs as the main modern design aspect while incorporating some traditional design elements. Some of these houses may even feature two or three architectural styles from different eras to mix with the modern design.

For these houses, different materials are used – be it concrete, steel, glass, wood, stone, or brick, and there’s no limit to what can be used. Contemporary houses often feature a good combination of textures and colors from the different building materials used.

3. Prairie Style Houses

The Prairie style house is an architectural style that was developed by an architect named Frank Lloyd Wright. This style emerged in the early 20th century.

This style is characterized by low-pitched or flat roofs with overhanging eaves that extend out from the structure of the house.

This style also incorporates a lot of warm colors through the use of wood, stone, and bricks. These materials also add a lot of texture to the design. The exterior walls of prairie-style houses often come in red or brown tones.

4. Bauhaus-Style Houses

Also known as international style, a Bauhaus-style house has distinctive features such as flat roofs, the use of geometric shapes, and simplistic designs.

This architectural style also emerged in the early 20th century, so it’s often confused with modernist style. This style came out as a response to the Industrial Revolution and the growing need for simple, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and cost-effective houses.

These houses often come in the colors white and gray with some black accents on the window and door frames.

The most common materials used for Bauhaus-style houses include concrete, glass, and steel. This makes them more affordable compared to other types of houses. Other materials used include wood and stone to incorporate natural elements in the design.

Apart from flat roofs, these houses also feature clean lines, large minimalist windows, and an open floor plan. Bauhaus-style houses also have adequate outdoor space through the addition of terraces, balconies, and outdoor decks.

The design concept of these houses focuses on function and practicality without compromising aesthetics. Bauhaus-style houses are known for being simple yet beautiful as they showcase excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail.

5. Mid-Century Modern Houses

This architectural style emerged during the mid-20th century and became widely popular in the United States between the 1940s and 1960s.

Mid-century modern houses are functional and practical while featuring a simple and aesthetically-pleasing design. These houses feature flat or low-pitched roofs and clean, minimalist lines.

The most common materials used for mid-century modern houses include stone and brick. This adds texture to the design. Another common material used is wood which adds warmth. In some mid-century modern houses, different types and tones of wood are used.

The interiors of these houses often feel bright and airy. This is attributed to the open floor plan and the large windows that bring in lots of natural light. These windows also connect the indoor space to the outdoors.

The open floor plan features a large central living area that flows seamlessly into the dining and kitchen area. In many of these houses, the living area is also connected to an outdoor deck through a large sliding glass door.

This style is not to be confused with the Bauhaus style which uses mostly white and gray. Mid-century modern houses use warm and dark colors like wood tones, dark gray, and black.

6. Cubist Style Houses

The cubist style house is inspired by the Cubist art movement. Like modernist houses, this style also emerged in the early 20th century.

Cubist-style houses are often characterized by the use of geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles to form a uniquely interesting house design. The flat roof further emphasizes the sleek and modern look of the house.

These houses often have an asymmetrical shape, with different parts of the house sticking out from different angles. Common materials used to build these houses include steel, concrete, and glass.

Because of their unique shapes, most Cubist-style houses look like modern pieces of art.

Please also take a look at our article with the correct terminology for different house-shape names.

7. Mediterranean Style Houses

Mediterranean-style houses are houses inspired by the traditional homes in Spain, Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries.

These houses are characterized by their low-pitched or flat roofs and exterior walls in warm colors. Most of these houses have a stucco wall in terracotta, beige, and light shades of brown.

Even though these houses have flat or low-pitched roofs, they are not at all simple and minimalist. These houses often feature decorated columns and arches that add a certain charm. These houses also have ornate details such as wrought iron balconies, carved woodwork, and decorative tiles.

The interiors of  Mediterranean-style houses often feature semi-open floor plans with living areas that connect to the dining area and kitchen through archways. The living areas also open up to the outdoors through a large entrance.

In addition, these houses often have patios and courtyards that are designed to seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Unlike the other house styles mentioned above, Mediterranean-style houses have a more traditional look.



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