A guide to current architectural trends

Architectural trends are influenced by current and upcoming external factors. Design firms are eager to stay ahead of the curve on the challenges of climate change, urban resilience and the demands of buyers for future-proof, greener homes.

A guide to current architectural trendsThese aren't the only change drivers in the industry, however. Here’s our guide to the most prominent architectural trends as the end of 2016 rushes forward.

Inside or out?

The concept of the indoors and outdoors as clearly demarcated zones has been all but eliminated. With the rise of rooftop gardens, floor-to-ceiling windows and internal courtyards, the lines between the natural and the manmade are increasingly blurring.

This draws on the Scriptism movement’s suggestion that a constructed environment should mimic the natural world. While this ideal is being implemented by cutting-edge home design firms such as MAD Architects, in several complex forms, forging a cohesive link between the exterior and interior of house design is a relatively simple trend to embrace.

Larger windows and circular holes in walls are creeping into the building design of popular architects such as Alejandro Restrepo Montoya. These elements draw the eye while letting additional light in. Screens covering skylights allow a flow of sun, reducing the need for artificial lighting. They also cause an ever-changing movement of shadows throughout the day while shading interior rooms from excess sunlight.

Open or closed?

During the 21st-century growth, open-plan home design has increased in popularity, both in commercial and residential settings. This concept allows smaller spaces, such as compact apartments in cities, to appear larger.

Nowadays, this architectural trend has moved towards flexi-rooms, partly triggered by the neo-Brutalist traits of popular architects such as Norman Foster. The core of this idea is that a space’s purpose can change on a whim, for example from home office to guest bedroom without the need for an entire overhaul of the building or house design.

A contradictory trend is simultaneously seeping in, however, with privacy taking the limelight in and out of the home. While large windows, expansive glass and open-plan architecture are appealing in certain circles, in crowded cities a buffer between the outside world and the homeowner is often incorporated into interiors. Buildings are designed to block out noise, protect the privacy of residents and usher in a sense of calm. 

Healthy planet or healthy humans?

Both are possible. In light of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in late 2015, and other discussions surrounding the subject of preserving the natural world, consumers and popular architects are keeping energy efficiency in mind. Various methods are being employed to create green house plans, with eco materials such as cork flooring and even reclaimed sea plastic being likely to make their way into home design. 

Human health and mental health will be considered in all kinds of architectural design. This includes the wider availability of non-VOC paints, but also, at a conceptual level, human well-being being as an aspect of construction, setting a precedent for natural light and bringing the outside in.

Several of the luxury properties in our portfolio at Engel & Völkers use modern architectural trends and display exquisite house designs. Reach out to one of our experts to discuss our collection, or visit us online. 

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