Centuries ago, ancient builders determined slate roofing to be a gorgeous, withstanding material suitable for housing royalty. Slate roofing first appeared on Europe’s medieval castles and spread to be used on houses of worship. Other than its sleek, classically beautiful appearance, slate was renowned for several other properties. Naturally water resistant, fire proof, and durable against all elements, quality slate has a lifetime of over 100 years.
To this day, natural slate remains a valuable and reliable building material. When historic monuments begin to deteriorate, slate roofing is often selected to maintain its natural elegance and preserve the structure for more than a century to come. Here are 5 castles that were restored using natural slate roofing:
This castle was commissioned by Count Gyula Andrássy, a Hungarian Prime Minister best known for his role in creating the Austo-Hungarian dualist form of government. A firm supporter of Germany, he also formed the Austro-German Alliance of 1879 that was the cornerstone of Austria’s foreign policy until the monarchy collapsed in 1918.
Built by Arther Meining between 1880 and 1885, the castle was constructed to mimic the architecture found in France’s Loire Valley and symbolically represents time’s passage over a year; the structure has 4 doors to symbolize each season, 12 turrets for the months, and 365 windows for each day.
In need of repair in 2003, contractors Teto Horn Kft selected dark grey slate roofing to nicely contrast the cream facade. The castle’s 2500 square meter roof was restored using the 7.5 mm thick material, returning the structure to its former elegance while providing strong and reliable protection.
Built in the 12th century, this magnificent castle stood guard on the border of Loon, a country once apart of the Holy Roman Empire. Passed down from family to family, the structure underwent several additions. It was destroyed in the famous medieval Battle of Brustem, and again during WWII, and since being bought by Richard Slurs in 1997 has been undergoing renovations.
Architects Paul Saintenoy and Josse Schadde have remodeled the castle to mimic the prominent style of the Neo-Flemish Renaissance. A sturdy, blue-black slate roofing tile was selected to give the spires and roof depth and uniformity. The 200 square meter roof is now covered in the smooth, sturdy material.
This chateau-like castle was constructed 1938, is surrounded by a gorgeous English-style landscape park in a Limburg village. Marked by a pearl facade, a wrap-around porch and prominent windows, the structure recently got a face-lift with the help of slate roofing.
To complement the castle’s teal fixtures, a reliable blue-black tile was selected. This gives the roof a classic, uniform appearance, while drawing in the structure’s distinguishing features. The 250 square meter roof was restored in 2012 by Vrijens contractors.
For more information on the restoration project, click here.
This 16th century building is marked by its rough, cobbled facade, surrounding moat, and circular corner towers at either end. Property of the Counts of Gruyères, it was lost in the bankruptcy of Count Michel to creditors in 1554. Originally a fortified house, the castle was reimagined as country housing for bailiffs of the area. In 2010, the castle became a listed historic monument.
A pale grey slate roofing was selected and installed by Rudy Fortier. This shade of tile compliments the earthen tones throughout the structure, providing a solid roofing durability and shade without washing out the stone facade.
Now a popular bed and breakfast, this castle was constructed in the 11th century on a rocky outcrop overlooking the town of Chalais, France. Occupied by the English during the Hundred Years War, the castle was destroyed a month before the Battle of Castillon by Charles VII. Rebuilt in the 16th century, only one tower of the castle had survived. In 2011, the castle suffered financial difficulty and was put up to sale. Bought by its current owner, television personality Yves Lecoq, the castle was made a historical monument and life-saving renovations began.
Phillipe Villeneuve, Chief Architect for Historical Monuments, led the renovation efforts. All 3,000 square meters of the 17th century roof were removed and replaced by pale grey roofing slate. Slightly textured, it affords a weathered and antiqued look while ensuring sturdy and reliable protection. The charming, sand-colored facade is complemented by the smooth but subtle slate roofing finish.
Across the pond, many architects are turning to natural slate siding as a stylish, reliable cladding option. Used as durable roofing since medieval castle-building days, modern architects are reimagining this coveted roofing material as siding, creating beautiful statement buildings across Europe. At home in the United States, this trend is already starting to trickle in to the industry.
This apartment complex in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia is one of a couple buildings that have embraced slate siding to create a chic, unique design. Situated directly across from the High Museum of Art, the sleek facade stands out in a high-end area of the city. The owner of the structures wanted “something different”, according to contractor Jason Smith of Siding Source, LLC, and selected slate for a timeless yet modern touch.
As a high-quality product, natural slate often ads additional value to its parent building. Other than affording a beautiful aesthetic to any structure, natural slate has a number of properties that make it one of the most reliable siding materials available. Fireproof and water-resistant, quality slate is an incredibly durable stone that boasts a lifetime of 100+ years. Many strains of natural slate have an unfading quality that maintains the same color throughout their lives. The cladding system used in this building was constructed so that an air pocket is created underneath the tiles, ensuring a constant airflow that eliminates harmful moisture buildup. Should the slate outlive its building, tiles can be removed and used in another project.
Natural slate is also one of the most environmentally-friendly building materials, defeating even terra-cotta tiles in terms of water usage. Many other materials have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, clogging up landfills. Slate, in comparison, has more than triple this expectancy. From mine to building site, slate tile requires minimal processing, cutting out harmful CO2 emissions and saving energy and water. Using slate tiles as siding also has great thermal and acoustic properties. Keeping a constant internal temperature severely lessens the energy demand of heating and cooling systems, lowering not only money spent on these utilities, but also any harmful by-products they may produce.
Check out the gallery below for more photos of this unique project:
Quality slate tile has for centuries been a coveted, high-end material. Originally used on the roofs of ancient castles, natural slate has an endearing, timeless appeal. A versatile material, slate tile can be used in roofing, siding, flooring, and even home improvement features such as countertops.
Recently, slate has been gaining popularity in modern architecture trends, and not only for its classic aesthetic appeal. Natural slate has a number of innate qualities that make it one of the best building materials on the market. Here are 4 ways quality natural slate can save homeowners money:
In general, composite or asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the United States. While these options, at face value, seem to be cheaper, quality is sacrificed for cost. Composite or asphalt shingles have a general lifespan of 20 years. Clay tile roofs, while an exotic and attractive option, also need to be replaced after 50 years.
In comparison, quality slate tile has the impressive lifespan of over 100 years. Incredibly durable, many warranties boast 150 years before need of repair or replacement. Many slates have an unfading quality, ensuring the same appearance from its first to its last day. In some situations, slate roofing has been known to outlive its mother building, in which case tiles can be removed and relocated to another structure. Should any slate tiles be damaged under extreme circumstances, broken tiles can easily be removed and replaced. This long life and ease of repair saves homeowners thousands of dollars in replacement roofing.
Slate tile is suitable for any environment, and prepared for every element. Naturally water—resistant, slate provides a solid roof or siding barrier that prevents the accumulation of moisture.
In freezing conditions, this prevents trapped water from widening cracks in roof or facade fixtures, and the durable exterior stands as a protective barrier against storms.
This material is also innately fireproof. For dry climates prone to fire hazards, slate tile can be a reliable deterrent.
Even though slate roofing can be somewhat pricier than average roofing options, a reliable long life saves homeowners from costly repairs.
Recently, however, modern architects have begun reimagining this material as a unique and durable siding option. Other than affording its mother building a chic flair, installing slate tile siding is actually cheaper than a number of other popular siding options. For a breakdown of comparable siding options and prices, see the chart below:
|Material||Material Cost/SQFT||Installed Cost|
|Slate Siding||$3.50 to $5.00||$5.50 to $9.00|
|Brick||$4.50 to $7.50||$6.00 to $10.50|
|Cedar Shingles||$4.15 to $6.00||$6.15 to $8.00|
|Hardie Board Siding||$1.75 to $4.00||$6.75 to $6.30|
|Synthetic Stucco||$3.75 to $4.74||$7.00 to $9.00|
|Natural Stone||$7.00 to $12.00||$8.50 to $15.00|
Quality material equals a quality building. Many architects specify slate in their projects because it often raises the property value of its mother building. With all of its innate properties, slate is rightly perceived as a smart investment. Low maintenance and durable, slate tile is a beautiful and sought-after amenity for many buyers.
Slate roofing has been a reliable choice since the castle-building days. Favored for both classic restorations as well as modern statement buildings, slate remains a quality material with the long-lasting reliability and gorgeous appearance high-end contractors seek. Here are 5 more slate roof inspirations for your next project:
Homeowners spared no expense when constructing this mansion-inspired home in Livingstone, just outside of Dallas. As such, they wanted a reliable, long-lasting roofing material that would also ad a touch of classic beauty.
As such, they specialized a black slate roof. Made of unfading, weather-resistant material, natural slate roofs boast a lifetime of over 100 years and maintain their chic, timeless appeal. Accented by black balcony ornaments, the slate roof beautifully contrasts the marble-like facade and gives a regal touch to the home.
Visit CupaUSA’s website for more.
This gorgeous, French-inspired building in Copenhagen recently got a touch-up with natural slate roofing tile. A fixture on one of the main shopping streets, the building’s mansard roof was in desperate need of refurbishment. Mansard roofs, also known as a French or curb roof, feature two slopes on each of its sides with dormer windows.
Non-fading slate roof tile was selected to replace the older slate, ensuring the roof will retain the same appearance throughout its life. Nicely complementing the opal facade, the dark slate affords a classic but bold appearance to the ornate building.
Visit the Falk Tag & Facade website for more.
This quaint farm cottage in the rural village of Privett, UK, got a high-end slate treatment when its roof needed repairs. Featuring a facade of sporadic red and white brick, the sturdy slate roof stands as a uniform addition that both complements and stands out. Natural slate tile roofing was specified so that all materials harmonized with the surrounding area.
Nigel Land of Skyline Roofing commented that he and his team were “very impressed” with the “superb slate”, adding that he had been in the roofing industry for 30 years. The owners of the cottage, as well, were “delighted with their new roof”.
Visit CupaUSA’s website for more.
This beautiful house of worship in Tiffin, Ohio, was recently fitted with a gorgeous Dover Black slate roof. The church, boasting magnificent stained glass windows, natural stone siding and copper highlights, is a popular tourist destination. Originally constructed by Irish immigrants in 1831, it is the Diocese of Toledo’s oldest parish.
Restoration efforts aimed to restore St. Mary’s classic beauty. Taking Ohio’s severe weather conditions into consideration, natural slate tile was selected as a durable and long-lasting investment that only enhances the church’s character and charm.
Visit St. Mary’s Website for more.
While hailed as a reliable restoration material, slate roofing has often been fitted to lend both strength and style to modern projects. These lodges at the luxury KP Golf Club in Yorkshire beautifully complement the surrounding trees, sleek slate tiles standing out against the wooden facade. Priding itself on its championship golf course, pro shop, bar and restaurant overlooking the Humber River, KP Golf Club spared no expense in constructing comfortable, long-lasting accommodations for their guests. Durable, fireproof, and resistant to freezing conditions, these lodges are prepared for any element.
Visit KP Golf Club’s website for more.
With rising concern for our environmental well-being, more consumers are looking to support eco-friendly products and companies. In the world of architecture, this has led to an increased demand for sustainable building options. Slate tile has long been renowned as a reliable, beautiful and sustainable building material.
A sustainable building is defined by the Global Development Research Center to strive for max efficiency with energy and material use. By using proper construction materials and meticulous siting, design and construction regulations, these buildings have a significant reduction on both environmental and human health impact.
A recent study by Dodge Data & Analytics and United Technologies Corporation, in collaboration with the World Green Building Council, found that approximately 60% of construction companies expect their certified sustainable buildings to rise from 18% to 37% in the next two years. This huge jump, double the current demand in 2016, heralds an industry spear-headed by environmentally-conscious consumers.
The report stated that 68% of those surveyed found that saving energy is the best feature of these buildings. While energy saving is good for both the environment and the wallet, it is far from the only beneficial feature. Another 37% believed that sustainable architecture’s preservation of environment and natural resources was the most important feature, while still another 31% most valued the buildings’ reduction of water consumption.
To read the report, please click here
With slate tile being naturally weather-proof, long-lasting and gorgeous, it has been a popular building tool for centuries. Additionally, slate is environmentally friendly— its natural characteristics require only minimal processing. This saves water, and cuts out the harmful CO2 emissions released by the production of most other building materials.
Traditionally a solid roofing choice, natural slate tile has recently been reimagined as a popular siding option. Naturally water resistant and fireproof, it is a reliable barrier against the elements with an impressive 100+ year lifespan. With its strength and timeless beauty combined, adding slate can increase the market value to any building.
Slate tile has also been praised as one of the most effective insulation materials. Both acoustically and thermally insulating, these systems prevent heat gain and loss and lowers the energy demand of temperature systems. Because of the cladding’s ventilated system, an air chamber behind the slate tiles keeps away unwanted and damaging accumulation of moisture.
Whether the reason be for environmental, human health, or economical reasons, sustainable architecture is rising rapidly in the consumer market. As our world shifts to be more pro-active in the health of our planet, this trend is only expected to rise in the coming years.
Information on sustainable buildings taken from: