8 Amazing Hidden Rooftop Houses You’ve Probably Never Noticed in New York City

by , 07/31/14

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We have long been fans of green prefab houses, and what better place to plop one down than on a rooftop? The sleek LoftCube is a chic and cheerful prefab designed specifically for rooftops. Designed by Werner Aisslinger, the square structure can be transported by helicopter and costs around $60,000 — a total steal for a rooftop apartment in New York City. For something even cheaper, the $2000 prefab Icosa Village Pod has been spotted on a Williamsburg rooftop. The geodesic dome folds into itself and can be easily assembled just about anywhere.

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If rooftop prefabs can’t get you excited, what about an A-frame cottage or Cape Cod bungalow? Nick Carr, a film location scout, has documented a handful of fully-built rooftop homes that look like they were picked up in a tornado and accidentally dropped in NYC. On top of an East Village apartment building, there’s an ocean front beach house, complete with a horse weather vane, and between West 77th and West 78th Streets, there is a cute A-frame hidden on top of a building.

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Of course, not all rooftop homes are cute and compact. This is New York City, after all, home of the extravagant lifestyle. Carr spotted a full-fledged suburban home — with a chimney! — on top of a 4 story building at 13th Street and 3rd Avenue. The wooden structure spans the entire building and even has a patio. There’s also a gorgeous, glass-walled 3-story house atop an unidentified building that has a deck on its own rooftop. Others have turned building rooftops into whole suburban landscapes, with a house, a yard, and a shed. Hey, why sacrifice city living for suburbia when you can create a better version in the middle of Manhattan?

Via Huffington Post (For more pictures see http://www.scoutingny.com)



  1. Fernando Gobeo August 16, 2015 at 5:33 am
    If this is not illegal some one at the Building Department is being paid under the counter.
  2. William Hunse June 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm
    As an architect I'd find it very interesting to know the structural design of these buildings. Normally, roof design loads ie the underlying structure, do NOT provide the necessary structural capacity to load them as shown. Nice stuff but I sense a disaster coming, like during a freak snowstorm added to the entire place. That and / or a slow motion train wreck where the failure is NOT noticeable until failure.
  3. Dean.Collins February 28, 2012 at 10:11 am
    this building is either an optical illusion or fake - http://inhabitat.com/nyc/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2011/05/three-story-nyc-rooftop-house.jpg the building is 90 west boradway and no the rooftop doesnt have a 3 story structure on top of it (well not as far as i know....
  4. ossie May 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm
    Sorry does not rock my boat now if it was a rooftop build looking over the ocean that is different but looking down on air con units and peoples rubbish does nothing for me.
  5. Archimy May 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    I wonder about the legality of these rooftop paradises. Are these like rogue citizens who sneak up to rooftops at night with boards clenched in their teeth or fully accepted building practices? The structural concerns are interesting and maybe a little scary. no footings a couple hundred feet up...yikes. still sign me up!
  6. arcilook May 24, 2011 at 5:53 am
    Look like we got some sort of rooftop living capsule/house/garden trend going on these days...
  7. betonbrut May 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    this is 9 varick.
  8. caeman May 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm
    Very creative! But, I am scared of heights. You city folks and trying to reach for the sky... :)
  9. jk666 May 23, 2011 at 9:45 am
    I believe this is off Hudson St. somewhere between Houston and Spring.