Architectural Elements. Copper, Titanium, Zinc, Aluminum.


Maker of fine metal roofs, Industrial Designer.




Michael Lachowski

Born in Poland – country of Copernicus, Chopin, Lech Walesa and George the Hedgehog – the country of his childhood years.
As a teenager he lived for a period of a year in Vienna, city which captivated him with its subtle elegance.
Later on he lived in Israel, where he completed his secondary and higher education.
He earned B.A. Sc. of Industrial Design at Bezalel Art & Design Academy in Jerusalem.

Currently he is living in New England, USA, in the shadows of New York City.


For several years he worked in production of custom exhibitions fairs stalls, turning unconventional designs and quirky combinations of materials into well crafted objects.
In 1995 he enrolls on course of Traditional Copper Roofing at KME technical center in Germany.
Since then he designs and makes quality roofs and facades in copper, zinc, aluminum and titanium.
His intimate knowledge of materials properties enables him to pare with the most challenging designs. His works are solidly designed from the technical standing point, and properly executed.




About Metal roofs.


Roofs are exposed to punishing conditions: daily thermal expansion and contraction cycles, relentless tugging by the winds, electrolysis and other forms of chemical attacks. If the roof is supposed to last, there is no much place for short-cuts and amateurism.
Traditional metal roofing is highly specialized domain. It builds on collective experience of generations of craftsmen. Dumb solutions were abandoned. Successful ones passed on. Today this knowledge is being lost.
The present commercial iteration of metal roofing is simplified one. It highly emphasizes on fast installation times by unexperienced teams, which is rewarded by the bidding system. The waterproofing function is relegated to “smart” underlayments, while the metal skin serves “as simulation, for demonstration purposes only” . While lowering the complexity and costs of work, it reduces considerably the life expectancy of the finished product. The roof passes successfully its warranty period, but not much beyond.

The lack of knowledge on behalf professionals of the construction industry plays an important role here. It is surprising how architects knowing so much about the visual aspects of metal roofs, know so little about the less visible ones – which are the ones that really matter in the long run.
Copper roofs generally last well over century, with the wooden structure serving as a longevity limiting factor. There are however instances of copper roofs that last for 6 – 7 centuries of continuous service.
Zinc roofs in general have to be replaced every 7- 8 decades. The material is much more sensitive than copper, and its particular set of issues have to be addressed properly.
Aluminum roofs tend to last 25 to 40 years. There are excellent paints today that may prolong aluminum’s life, but they don’t help much in places where the paint skin is compromised.
Modified bitumen membrane loses its elasticity gradually, turning stiff and brittle, not unlike plastic parts in our cars. Its life span is about 15 – 25 years.


The quite common reality of metal roofs of the simplified design in the recent times, is life span of about 15 years. Problems start to pop up in about a decade, escalating with time.

The George Pompidou Centre for example, erected in 1977, had to be completely overhauled in 1996. The owners could not bear the growing expenses of the never-ending repairs.

In another example, a passengers terminal in Singapore, the zinc panels on the roof started to disintegrate in matter of months, due to water trapped between the zinc and watertight, “smart” membrane beneath.