Rooftops often go unnoticed as perfectly available and totally untapped potential spaces. In recent years, they have begun to gain some attention as good venues for solar panels and urban gardens, but the full spectrum of possibility has yet to be embraced. A group of four interns at McCall Design Group in San Francisco undertook a summer research project to explore the rooftops of the city and stretch the ends of the spectrum, calling attention to a forgotten urban landscape and topography.

The four interns toured the city’s rooftops, finding the usual suspects: vents, chimneys, fire escapes, satellite dishes. They then devised a long list of “what if’s” and created a conceptual report chronicling the possible uses of the rooftop. Some ideas: advertising for aerial viewers, rain cisterns, rooftop getaway shelters, and a game one intern coined as “verti-golf”?dropping a yo-yo from the roof down through a hoop at the side of the building. Their conclusion is no surprise; rooftops can be a great tool for ecological progress in design, and can offer an out-of-the-way space for socializing, star gazing, and growing your own food. Their “what-if’s” have been made into a gallery exhibition and a deck of cards. Check out their blog for more info.

Intern Blog

SF Chronicle Article