This is a guest post from Antonina of OpenBuildings – a community-driven and openly editable encyclopaedia of buildings from around the world. 

Luc Besson’s 1997 futuristic movie The Fifth Element opens with a breathtaking scene of a multi-level city. The elevated lifestyle pictured there is still more than a few corners around and in everyday architecture rooftops are downgraded to a functionally-obsolete protective part of buildings. However, this line-up of rooftop refuges is a reminder of the fascination of dwelling in the alternative layers of the city. Look around and you will actually discover, apart from the proverbial underground world, every big city also has a rooftop world of its own and it is a most inspiring place to be.

Park AssociatiThe Electrolux Cube Pavilion 

Park Associati: The Electrolux Cube Pavilionimage: Park Associati

Benthem Crouwel ArchitectsPenthouse Las Palmas

Benthem Crouwel Architects: Penthouse Las Palmasimage: Jannes Linders

Brian Meyerson Architects: Bondi Penthouse

Brian Meyerson Architects: Bondi Penthouseimage: Brian Meyerson Architects

JDS Architects: Penthouses and Rooftop Terrace 

JDS Architects: Penthouses and Rooftop Terraceimage: JDS Architects

Pascal Grasso: Nomiya Temporary Restaurant

Pascal Grasso: Nomiya Temporary Restaurantimage: Kleinefenn

L/B: Everland Hotel

L/B: Everland Hotelimage:  L/B

Teck Siong Desmond Tan: Penthouse Office Suite

Teck Siong Desmond Tan: Penthouse Office Suiteimage: Teck Siong Desmond Tan

Balmori Associates: 684 Broadway Penthouse

Balmori Associates: 684 Broadway Penthouseimage: Mark Dye

Coop Himmelb(l)au: Falkestrasse Rooftop

Coop Himmelb(l)au: Falkestrasse Rooftopimage: Gerald Zugmann

Werner Aisslinger: Loftcube

Werner Aisslinger: Loftcubeimage: Werner Aisslinger;