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 

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Park Associati

Benthem Crouwel ArchitectsPenthouse Las Palmas

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Jannes Linders

Brian Meyerson Architects: Bondi Penthouse

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Brian Meyerson Architects

JDS Architects: Penthouses and Rooftop Terrace 

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: JDS Architects

Pascal Grasso: Nomiya Temporary Restaurant

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Kleinefenn

L/B: Everland Hotel

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage:  L/B

Teck Siong Desmond Tan: Penthouse Office Suite

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Teck Siong Desmond Tan

Balmori Associates: 684 Broadway Penthouse

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Mark Dye

Coop Himmelb(l)au: Falkestrasse Rooftop

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Gerald Zugmann

Werner Aisslinger: Loftcube

View from the Top: 10 Inspired Rooftop Locationsimage: Werner Aisslinger; loftcube.net