Small ones up top, Big ones down below.
June 25, 2008 6:26 AM   Subscribe

There are some buildings at a Cornell Univeristy with slate shingles. The shingles towards the top, near the peak of the roof are about half the size of the ones along lower part. Why? Is this common?

My main question is if this variation in size is for asthetics or for a function? Or it based on some ancent slate shingling tradition?
posted by bdc34 to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sounds like a graduated slate roof. I've seen a few on the roofs of homes and churches in an old Welsh community near me.
posted by iconomy at 6:34 AM on June 25, 2008

Having been one of his disciples, the person that you want to go find on campus is Professor Michael Tomlan. He will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about any building on campus and everything you ever wanted to know about the building materials and traditions involved in each building.
posted by stefnet at 6:35 AM on June 25, 2008 [3 favorites]

It could be that the peak area was a more recent renovation and that the original sizes were not a standard, economic size that could be found these days.
posted by JJ86 at 6:35 AM on June 25, 2008

According to iconomy's link (click 'em, folks!), it's because slate tends to split into fairly random sizes, and it just works best if the big pieces are at one end (the bottom) and the small ones at the other.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:41 AM on June 25, 2008

As a side effect (and I've never seen the roof, so I don't know if this is relevant) putting the smaller shingles at the top will have a perspective effect that makes the building look taller...
posted by twine42 at 7:27 AM on June 25, 2008

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