Walking a backyard in northwest Denver, visitors will encounter an unorthodox-looking roof that has been coated and strengthened using thin-shell concrete. The roof takes on the sculptural shape of a hyperbolic paraboloid. Called a hypar roof, this beautiful form is the creation of George Nez, an 91-year old international habitat and resettlement pioneer who long ago (1958) served as the planning director for this city.
“The principle of roofs-first is to be able to rapidly, and at the lowest cost, provide shelter so the families can move in and eventually fill in their wall. They don’t have time for a slow process of building up from foundations or traditional walls and wait until they can afford a roof? No. The roof-first process builds the roofs for them.”