Halfhip and hip roof with an attic in Lower Silesian towns at the beginning of the Prussian rule. Systematization of fire regulations and the form of roof

Bogna Ludwig



In Silesian towns, especially those in the Sudeten foothills and the Sudeten valleys, the use of hip and half hip roofs became common in the 2nd half of the 18th century. Along with them, late Baroque crownings of townhouses appeared. They combined the decoration of a low half hip gable, sometimes called a half gable, or dormers with a wall, obscuring the roof of the entire building. As a whole, this structure formed an elaborate attic. The author’s aim was to show that both the spread of roofs of such shapes and the forms of attics resulted from the adaptation of the tastes and needs of city dwellers to the ordinances in force. Municipal and then state regulations for the construction of houses, especially their canopies, resulted primarily from fire regulations. The research presents the process of formulating ordinances relating to the shape of roofs, roofing materials and surrounding fire walls. The analysis of preserved monuments and iconographic records depicting the roofs and crowning of tenement houses erected after the introduction of successive regulations made it possible to trace the ways in which they were implemented. The prescription to lower gables, in addition to erecting low roofs, resulted in a compromise in the form of constructing mansard roofs and shortening the height of gables by introducing pediments. The regulations on the method of erection and the height of fire walls influenced the way in which the gables of townhouses were designed and thus the form of attics became widespread.

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