Look! Look! There's Something on the Roof

Don’t look now, but there’s something on that roof! Honestly, there’s something on the roof and it’s huge! Will you just look; of course I am telling you the truth! Huh, well now you’ve gone and missed it! Some strangely different takes on architecture await your inspection.

Architecture isn't just about architects. It's human, it's organic - it's all about add-ons! Here are a number that you may find questionable. Then again, you may find them wonderful, unique and a tribute to the individual in all of us. Get out of here!

In Portland they occasionally struggle against their image as staid and solid citizens. Here, they show that they can be as mad as the rest of the world. Each year for the Rose Festival, Jakes restaurant puts this giant inflatable crab on their roof. Why? Because they can!

Climate change is happening, and this must be the ultimate in photographic proof that it is becoming more and more of a danger to the environment. In fact, this shark, decorously poised in Oxford, England, was put there deliberately by the owner of the house. Years of argument with the local council ensued until, after it had become a local landmark, the council decided it could stay after all!

Here there be dragons! Don't you really hate it when people don't take Halloween seriously? Put a little effort in guys, come on!

Need auto repair, then why not get down to Andy's in Washington State? There you can also take a very quick double take as you approach. Are those the…? Why are they…? Who cares? They look great and must give every passerby a lift! Or a breakdown!

The residents of Orange County may shake their heads and wonder why, but that is doubtful. It is California, after all! Three friends audition for the latest Disney film but while they certainly get themselves seen, they fail when it comes to he cute factor. The Moose is a snob, the goat thinks he is Sophocles and the bear is just a little too grizzly.

Is this urban art, making a statement about man's condition and the loneliness of the thinker? Or is it just that someone in Salvador, Brazil thought it would be hugely entertaining to stick a show window mannequin on the top of a very tall building. With some generosity of spirit you could accept the former. Without, then it's just a dummy on a roof, which if alive would probably be getting a grand case of the piles right now!

Behold, a giant am I! This great big symbol of all things American sits atop a rooftop in downtown Michigan. Nonchalant and indifferent, he doesn't even notice that a bird has chosen to perch on his hat, from which to survey the wonders of the city (no irony, honestly!). Taken from the back because from the front, it seems, this gentleman leaves nothing to the imagination! Not so much of a gentleman then!

Who could leave LA without a visit to Randy's Donuts? Not for the faint hearted (at least when it comes to the doughy stuff!), Randy's boasts the largest ring with a hole in the city, quite possibly the whole state and perhaps the world! One can imagine it falling on a hapless Harold Lloyd who would miraculously survive the landing by a whisker and give the screen one of his slightly befuddled black and white looks!

Not something you would put on the list of local amenities if you wanted to sell your flat, these two tube carriages hover precariously over the road. It looks as if they are members of a club, recreating scenes from movies where hapless carriages must speed to the end of the line before hurtling in to oblivion. Only it never is oblivion, really. Look closely and you can see Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in the carriage on the left. Gotcha!

Willow, Alaska, and Sarah Palin's private jet awaits her next political move. Whether it is to New York or in to the more and more Polar Bear free wastes of her native state, this jaunty little number awaits her every whim. Small and petit, much like the lady, it only has enough fuel for internal flights and will not venture overseas. Much like the lady.

Weather vanes are not that rare in Brooklyn, but really! If you are going to kidnap someone and keep them, Fu Manchu style, in a glass container, wouldn't it more discreet to keep your hapless prisoner indoors? This just looks like over confidence gone mad. Incidentally, is everyone in Brooklyn called Vinnie? Enquiring minds!

Staying in Brooklyn for a while, one must wonder whether its inhabitants have a fixation for putting stuff on the roof. Here, two young men await he arrival of their friend Homer, in the expectation of a beer or five. For the artist in you, yes, a third figure on the right would have given this bravura piece of something for no reason whatsoever a much greater sense of balance.

Subscribe to receive free email updates: