5 things to discover about Contemporary Architecture
Contemporary Architecture is usually defined as the architecture of the present day. It is based on a principle that is shared by all those who practice it: the desire and the will to design and build things that are different from what was done in the past and what is usually done today. Contemporary architecture aims to break away from the processes and ways of thinking that have become standard. It is innovative.
Here are 5 things to discover about contemporary architecture:
- Form: All we need to do is to look around to see that the dominant line in architecture is the straight line. Contemporary architecture tends to distance itself from this habit by opting more often for curved lines, instead. In some cases, a building is entirely designed around curved lines. In other cases, both curved and straight lines are used in the same building.
- Composition of Volumes: The use of curved lines also makes it possible to create spaces that are not simply cubes, as is the case with straight lines. So, in contemporary architecture, one sees building with rounded shapes. When contemporary architecture does make use of straight lines, meaning that the unit of volume is a cube, it attempts to assemble these cubes in surprising ways so as to create a distinctive composition of volumes. As rounded shapes do, this composition also allows for the creation of interior living spaces with unusual layouts. If you aren’t shy about flaunting your difference and if you like the idea of living in a nonstandard living space, contemporary architecture is for you.
- New Materials: Another feature of contemporary architecture today is the use of new materials for both the interior and the exterior. Traditional materials like glass, wood, brick, and metals are preferred. Plants also have their place within contemporary architecture, particularly on roofs, but also, increasingly, on the walls. If you have a green thumb, you can take advantage of this trend towards revegetation and grow a vertical garden; for example, by growing climbing tomato plants all over a wall.
- Windows: Larger and more plentiful windows are also a characteristic of contemporary architecture. Multiple openings and their uncommon positioning, panoramic windows, window walls, and skylights have all entered the playing field. One of the consequences of this kind of fenestration, beyond creating spectacular views, is that it makes full use of the sunlight: first of all as natural lighting, and secondly, to take advantage of passive solar heating. If you love natural light or enjoy spectacular views, contemporary architecture is for you. But be careful! If you care about privacy and are planning to build in an urban setting where there are neighbors nearby, some clever thinking is required when it comes to windows.
- Environmental Considerations: Eco housing is a characteristic that isn’t restricted to contemporary architecture. Many conventional buildings incorporate sustainable elements, or, at the very least, energy efficiency. But in contemporary architecture, these elements are required. The use of photovoltaic cells, geothermal heating, heat pumps, heat exchangers, and thermal collectors is considered, with the goal of producing heat in new ways and conserving it. In the field of residential construction, for example, the aim is to integrate the home perfectly into its natural surroundings. The purpose is not only to protect the surroundings from disturbance but to turn them into one of the architectural elements that give the home its own, special character. If environmental responsibility and the reduction of greenhouse gasses are among your priorities, the contemporary architecture will satisfy you because it allows you to build a home that far exceeds current environmental standards.
- The Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This circular, 35-story tower has an 18-degree tilt in the middle, making it the most inclined building in the world. What’s more, the interior layout provides spaces that are all different; none of the rooms are identical to each other. A design by the Scottish architecture firm RMJM.
- The Sydney Opera House, whose form is reminiscent of a ship’s sails or a collection of giant stacked seashells. Although it was inaugurated in 1973, this structure remains a reference point of contemporary architecture. It is the work of the Danish architect Jorn Utzon, now deceased.
- The Auditorio de Tenerife, an auditorium with a rounded form and an arched canopy overhanging it, which also has a rounded form and appears to defy gravity. Created by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.