Urban Fold

A Peek at New York's Fifth Facade

A new book by trained architect-turned photographer/pilot Alex MacLean captures the ironically suburban trappings of New York City's hidden rooftop world. Web Urbanist author Delana pens a review.

For anyone who's lucky enough to have enjoyed an afternoon imbibing on one of New York's exclusive rooftop playgrounds, the photographs in MacLean's Up On the Roof will bring back fond memories of the ultimate in urban luxury - open spaces with luscious landscaping, relaxing furniture, barbecues, and even swimming pools, along with some of the most awe-inspiring views in the world.

"Just like suburban backyards, the roof spaces run the range from sparse and minimal to flawlessly manicured to absolutely chaotic. It is wonderfully mesmerizing to examine each page, leaning in close so as not to miss a single detail. These high-up spaces have been used for everything from playgrounds to restaurants to art exhibits to fully-functional urban farms and even golf courses. In one bizarre case, a replica of a World War I British fighter plane sits on a rooftop runway."

"MacLean's engrossing book can be enjoyed simply for its beautiful photography and glimpses into ordinarily-inaccessible places. But for urban enthusiasts, it also inspires a sort of giddy excitement over future possibilities. As more and more of the world's population settles in densely-populated urban areas, more cities will start to resemble New York and more urbanites will head to the roof for their daily dose of nature."

 

Full Story: The Fifth Facade: A Peek Inside NYC’s Hidden Rooftop World

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00