David Shacter TerraWise Homes

David Shacter

Re-Introducing A Classic Butterfly Roof Design

Last year, we added a “Butterfly” roof design as an option on a few of our home offerings. Two buyers immediately were enamored with the exterior appearance and the interior room sloping heights. These homes are now complete and causing excitement at our Cedarbrook community.

Satilla Butterfly Roof Front TerraWise Homes
Satilla Butterfly Roof Side View TerraWise Homes
Satilla Butterfly Roof View TerraWise Homes

The butterfly roof has existed in this country for several decades although it’s hard to find any examples in our area. Melody and I thought it would be distinctive to offer it as an option.  Our first one completed is a Satilla Modern for buyers in Cedarbrook.

A “butterfly roof” is essentially a roof formed from an inversion of a standard sloped design. The two roof surfaces slope down from opposing edges to a valley in the center. It resembles the raised wings of a butterfly and therefore is usually referred to as a butterfly roof, although alternate names have included a ”V roof” and a “London Roof” according to Wikipedia.

Many observers of housing design in this country credit the butterfly roof to be the creation of William Krisel and Dan Palmer in Palm Springs, California during the late 1950s. Beginning in 1957, these two partners created nearly 2,000 houses in a series of developments known as the Alexander Tract. Historian Alan Hess describes their work as “the largest Modernist housing subdivision in the United States.” But Krisel is quick to point out that he was not the originator of this form.

Wikipedia research further shows that Butterfly Roofs have historic beginnings, at least dating back to the great French architect, Le Corbusier, who first used this structure in his design of a vacation home in Chile called Maison Errazuriz in 1930. Shortly after, in 1933, the Czech-born architect used this same form on a house in Japan featured in Architectural Record magazine in 1934. The celebrated German-born architect, Marcel Breuer, used this same form on his Geller House in Long Island, New York in 1945.

So, the Butterfly roof is not new, but it is certainly creating a lot of new excitement in one Jacksonville community. Stop by the Cedarbrook model and join one of our team for a tour of the community to see these cool new retro home designs.