Pavilion on the terrace
It shades the roof, supports varied activities and adds to the aesthetics.
In any seminar on green architecture, energy conservation in buildings or sustainable ideas, it’s possible that flat RCC terrace gets the lion’s share of the blame for ills such as internal heat gain leading to air conditioning loads, urban temperature build-up contributing to heat island effects, and structural deflections resulting in increased structural costs.
While all these are partly true, blaming the terrace alone is no solution. Incidentally, terraces are such an integral part of the building, yet they get blamed by all for just being on the top!
Much before the advent of modern RCC roofs, flat roofs were very common, without any complaints of heat gain, thanks to the vernacular technology and local materials prevalent those days.
For drying purposes
Terraces were routinely used for drying farm produces, preparing home food items, children playing and of course, sleeping at night. Today, if they are among the causes of ecological distress, the need of the hour is to analyse the causes and mitigate them. One method is to erect a pavilion on top that shades the roof, supports varied activities and adds to the aesthetics.
Everyone would agree that the best of air, view and sense of space happens on the terrace, yet we seldom use it because it is mostly left as an empty floor. Simply facilitate it, the use begins. To that end, all that we need are shade and green!
The pavilion can be a simple sloping tiled roofed structure of desirable dimensions, supported on four brick or pipe pillars in corners. It could also be designed with attractive modern forms and materials, just as a garden pavilion. Provision of benches and seats underneath enhances the usability of the structure.
Being a simple roofed area, they do not cost huge, yet provide the much needed extra space during events, parties or a session of relaxing yoga and meditation. In many houses, such pavilions are routinely used for washing and drying clothes. In case located in front of the building, the pavilions add to the attraction of elevation too!
…and as food courts too
In many public buildings, the roof-top pavilions are an extensive area, serving as food courts, staff congregation areas, cultural performance spaces and such others. However, if built fully to cover the terrace area, the feel of open to sky terrace itself gets lost.
We need to get the best of both, of covered space and open space. Hence, roofing a part of the terrace could be a balancing act, which is like merging a balcony and terrace. Where we need shade for a swing or seat we get it, while the flowering plants may get the sunlight they need.
If the terrace gets shaded by the pavilion and covered by plants, the major complaint of heat gain gets automatically eliminated!