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Richard Leggin Architects

I adore cupolas. I think they are the icing on the cake of a beautiful home…. a ‘jewel on the roof’.

A cupola (from the lower Latin ‘cupula’, meaning small cup or tub) is an ornamental structure that sits atop a larger roof or dome. Small cupolas can be purely decorative (such as the small vented boxes you see on gorgeous American barns), or designed a bit bigger to provide ventilation and/or a natural light source … often called ‘lanterns’.

Even larger sized cupolas are often referred to as a ‘belvedere’, or a ‘widow’s walk’, and can be accessible via a stairway, often commanding a vantage point. A ‘widow’s walk’ is a variation of the Italianate ‘belvedere’ cupola and was very popular in North American coastal communities during the 17th to mid 19th century ‘age of sail’. Beautiful stories prevail of mariner’s wives up in their ‘widow’s walk’, watching and waiting for their sailors to return … often in vain … the wild oceans leaving them widows.

I have mainly featured the decorative style of cupola here today. Serious ‘roof jewellery’.

Mckay Architects


Passacantando Architects

King Landscaping

The cupola can be traced back to 8th century Islamic architecture, where it was no more than a cover to a minaret. The cupola became the inspiration for the dome, the great icon of architecture, the statement of proof of cultural superiority.


Concept Building Inc

Lilley Dadagian Architects

Lilley Dadagian Architects

The cupola is responsible for great achievements in the science of construction. Stone in medieval architecture was a tough medium to work with. The humble cupola forced the development of supports and big suspended structures in order to aspire to great domes and cathedrals.

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I’m rather partial to the lantern style. Isn’t this as pretty as a picture?

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Apparently that’s just the garage and the shed. I could live in it.


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Apparently a pilot lives here. How perfect.

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Maybe a musician lives here? I love it. Our piano teacher wears treble clef earrings. So cool.

What would I put on my cupola? A little house perhaps?

What would you put on yours?

Hooray, it’s Friday. The boys are at Gran’s…. enjoying the last few carefree days of the holidays. I miss them. I don’t miss their bickering though. Tween and teen. It’s starting!