"Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness." Frank Gehry's quote summarises the current challenge posed to architects: How to construct innovative and meaningful structures while ensuring each one has its place in the existing world. Prospective trends may be impossible to predict with any degree of precision, but there are indications of where architecture is heading. Let’s take a look at the future of the industry at its most cutting edge.
Winston Churchill had a shrewd understanding of the power architecture has over society. “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us”, the politician claimed. This adage is still relevant nowadays, highlighting the central role architecture will play in attempting to limit the effects of climate change.
Building regulations already set a standard for environmental requirements, but the industry will seek to push these measures even further. Not only can we expect a significant increase in the use of sustainable materials, we can also anticipate further importance being placed on smaller, energy-efficient elements of a structure's design.
Solar panels, grass roofs and innovative heating methods are already common in new builds. In the years to come, we envisage eco-friendly components such as these becoming the norm rather than expensive modern conveniences used exclusively by those who can afford them.
Function over form
Designing structures is an art, and form will never be absent from the mind of an architect. That being said, the balance of form and function has remained fluid throughout the history of design – a pendulum swinging fiercely from one side to another.
Flashy 'starchitecture' is swiftly becoming passé. In its place, architects are developing a passion for buildings that bring people together.
Chinese web giant Tencent sought to follow this trend with its new headquarters. This structure was designed to encourage spontaneous encounters between employees, engendering a more open and sociable environment.
The age of collaboration
Architects have been pooling their resources and consorting on large projects for decades, but the future holds an even bolder form of collaboration for the industry.
Design teams are now employing staff members with innovative job titles from fields outside of architecture. Popular additions include everyone from environmental scientists to sociologists. This polymathic approach seeks to broaden the possibilities of future buildings, widening their usefulness in society at large.
As a leading player in property markets around the world, at Engel & Völkers we have our finger on the pulse of the architectural industry. Whether you're purchasing as an investment or for personal use, our knowledgeable agents in 36 countries across four continents can walk you through the entire process. Visit the Engel & Völkers website to learn more, as well as about the impact design trends can have on markets.