Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh Scupper, my scupper

With even more rain on the way (we're already way above the average rainfall this season), we had to rush the installation of waterproofing on the roofs. One important item to get the water down from the roofs is the scupper.
When you look at buildings with flat roofs, you're most likely to find them near the top- about 2ft below the coping of the parapet. In most buildings, the scuppers are the stepchildren of the designer's attention. They're normally unsightly sheet metal boxes, that get squished into a hole through the building and beaten, stepped on, hammered on and in the end they look dinged and dented like an old coke can.
When we go back in history, the grandfather of these sad metal boxes are the glorious gargoyles of the grand Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages in Europe. Being most of the time the only elements in the whole building for which no proprietary design was dictated by church regulations, they were the true pieces of art of the stone masons. The masons used them to portray their superintendent, a financier or their own wife- as a dragon, gnome or another outlandish creature.
No two gargoyles were alike and each one of them seems to make fun of the hassle and bustle far down below...
Fast forward to 2010.
For us, the scuppers (and we have 4 of them) should be more than they are for most other designers- they are part of the building and deserve some attention of their own. That's why we didn't go with the standard home-depot hole-in-the-wall, but with a custom made streamline scupper that pays tribute to their own important function-to get the rainwater off the roofs and into our cistern.
Oh scupper, my scupper.....

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