We are starting to say goodbye to the year and after a review of all the contents developed, we find ourselves with a wide range of architectural advice that involves both interior and exterior spaces. Addressing issues from the domestic sphere to more technical and decisive questions, these are intended to serve as a guide and/or suggestions, rescuing those necessary considerations to take into account when planning our spaces, regardless of the use or the future they contemplate.
Jorge Drexler sings, in one of his songs, that “we always look at the river, contemplating the other riverbank”. Beyond understanding everything that was done, looking back at the past year can serve to get some clues about the future. This 2021, we published more than 160 articles in the Materials & Products section, covering a wide range of topics. From complex concepts such as 4D printing or very little processed materials such as hempcrete and bamboo, drawing a retrospective of the covered themes and understanding what interested our readers the most is an interesting exercise to foreshadow some trends in the future of the construction field. Looking at our most viewed articles, three large themes are evident: 3D printing, pre-fabrication, and interior renovation. Below, we present a compilation of each topic, reflecting on what we can dare to say about the trends in the construction industry that should consolidate in 2022.
Unlike classical architecture, characterized by a series of rooms with very defined functions and spaces, the current architectural design seeks to integrate spaces to achieve high degrees of adaptability and flexibility. In this way, the boundaries of the enclosures are blurred and new solutions appear that are worth analyzing. In the case of bedrooms, bathrooms are often no longer a small and secluded adjoining room – instead, they are now integrated to form a multifunctional space that is subtly concealed. Just like Mies van der Rohe, who used to group services in strategic areas to create open floors, let's review some cases that have adopted the specific solution of the hidden bathroom just behind the bed.
It is a common misconception that bunk beds - which are sleeping spaces elevated above floor-level - are used exclusively for the bedrooms of children and teens. While bunk beds are a great solution for younger kids and older kids alike, the practical aspect of bunk beds which gives ample sleeping space while saving on floor space, makes them great for a variety of purposes and applications. With a rise in density and the majority of people living in large urban centers making use of increasingly smaller living spaces, there has come a push towards modularity in interior architecture. For this reason, bunk beds and lofted sleeping areas have become a great solution to maximize square footage.
On November 18, the Panamerican Architecture Biennial of Quito announced the winning projects of the 2020 Oscar Niemeyer Award for Latin American Architecture.
The use of wood in the construction of Chilean houses demonstrates the possibilities offered by renewable resources available in the country. The benefits are multiple: wood can be an extremely sustainable material when produced and processed under certain conditions since it can have a very low carbon footprint. Meanwhile, as a construction system, it is characterized by its warmth, resistance, and durability.
Countries that are part of the so-called “global south” have undergone many transformations in their cities and urban contexts in recent years due to the economic and social challenges they face. Urban growth, sustainable development, quality of life and health in emerging cities, and the development of their own cultural identity have been some of the issues that local architecture had to incorporate.
Young architects have understood the importance of making an architecture that is deeply rooted in their own territory while giving this architecture a clear local identity. By generating new typologies and using their own resources and materials, they have presented innovative, site-specific, and, above all, solutions with a new fresh focus towards what represents them as creators of this architecture.