Contemporary architecture is the architecture of the 21st century. No single style is dominant; contemporary architects are working in several different styles, from postmodernism and high-tech architecture to highly conceptual and expressive forms and designs, resembling sculpture on an enormous scale.
The different styles and approaches have in common the use of very advanced technology and modern building materials, such as Tube structure which allows the construction of the buildings that are taller, lighter and stronger than those in the 20th century, and the use of new techniques of computer-aided design, which allow buildings to be designed and modeled on computers in three dimensions and constructed with more precision and speed.
Contemporary buildings and styles vary greatly. Some feature concrete structures wrapped in glass or aluminum screens, very asymmetric facades, and cantilevered sections that hang over the street. Skyscrapers twist, or break into crystal-like facets. Facades are designed to shimmer or change color at different times of the day.
Whereas the major monuments of modern architecture in the 20th century were mostly concentrated in the United States and western Europe, contemporary architecture is global; important new buildings have been built in China, Russia, Latin America, and particularly in Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Features of Contemporary Architecture
Classicized ideas thrived on specific design elements. The have flourishes that are predictable and distinguishable while contemporary architecture is more flexible. Contemporary architects thrive on sophisticated and innovative ideas. They deviate from traditions and norms. To achieve this, they need contemporary materials to create these ideas. You will not only appreciate the innovative and creative designs in these buildings. You will also understand the aesthetic feeling through the unique design of structures.
Moreover, contemporary architecture uses a vast range of building materials. These include concrete, glass, wood and aluminum screens. These materials add contrast and homogeneity. For instance, you will notice they have oversize plate glass windows. These allow plenty of natural light and create large open spaces. They engender a sense of airiness, hence minimizing air conditioning costs. Moreover, the building frames don't always follow symmetry and often have innovative shapes.
Tendency - The Sense of Sustainability
The present is an era where global warming is a real issue. It is now essential to take specific measures to ensure nature is not compromised. For this reason, modern architects design buildings that are energy efficient. This is in part thanks to recycled materials for the construction process. This needs to include the use of solar panels for roofing purposes. Moreover, the widespread use of reinforced concrete creates not only innovative ideas. It also enhances aesthetic appeal to most buildings. These architects hope to achieve this idea. They’d want to do this to ensure that the whole project is economical. They also want to focus on sustaining the end user’s needs.
A growing tendency in the 21st century is eco-architecture, also termed sustainable architecture; buildings with features that conserve heat and energy, and sometimes produce their own energy through solar cells and windmills and use solar heat to generate solar hot water. They also may be built with their own wastewater treatment and sometimes rainwater harvesting. Some buildings integrate gardens green walls and green roofs into their structures. Other features of eco-architecture include the use of wood and recycled materials.