Construction and Design Trends of 2021: The Recurring, The Popular, The Relevant and The Substantial
As we look back at the architecture projects we have published in 2020, as part of our yearly review, we were able to distinguish many recurring elements and solutions in terms of materials, programs, and functions.
Since the architecture industry moves slightly slower than others, we found that many things in the construction and design that have been building up these past years have come out making strong statements this 2020. We believe, therefore, that trends in the architecture world could be defined not only by what has been recurrent and popular but also, what has proven to be relevant and substantial.
The pillar has adorned many of the greatest monumental examples of Western architecture since antiquity, from the Doric columns of the Parthenon to the Corinthian capitals of the Pantheon portico. In the West, the legacies of these classical forms have permutated over the centuries and into modern times: the Doric columns of the Lincoln Memorial, the Ionic columns of the British museum portico, and the Villa Savoye’s pilotis are just a few examples of the classical column’s continued transformation and use over the last few centuries. Today, the round pillar continues to be used in modern design, both functionally and aesthetically. Below, we look into these elements in more detail, including their materials, construction, structural qualities, and several contemporary examples of their use.
The use of brick plays a very important role in the architectural history of the United Kingdom. Construction techniques that involve brick and stone have been in constant progress. In fact, brick production improved over time, making the material the most popular one in the construction industry. From the 18th century onwards, brickwork was predominantly used in domestic and industrial architecture, but later on, it was introduced to the structure of warehouses and factories, as well as other various forms of infrastructure.
While many of these buildings are still operating to this day, it comes as no surprise. Refurbishment and reuse are highly recommended techniques, and in many cases, the only methods to maintain densely populated European cities. Therefore, the challenge lays in reusing these buildings and recycling the materials available, always trying to retain as much of the original structure as possible.
The first episode of Practice, a new series of documentaries about the process of architecture, takes an in-depth look into the design thinking of Invisible Studio's founder, Piers Taylor. The short film follows the architect as he builds a small cabin, alternating visually compelling imagery with pieces of conversation about his early years in the profession and the beginning of Invisible Studio. Taylor also shares his thoughts about building with volunteers and working with wood. The rhythm, the sound design (created by Simon James) and the cinematic quality of the film make of the short documentary an immersive experience.
Functionality, good ventilation, comfortable lighting and access to views are some of the important required characteristics that make for human comfort in an inhabited or occupied space. Nonetheless, those elements are becoming harder to achieve withing smaller city dwellings and builds. Architects and individuals therefore turn towards design solutions to create more agreeable and personalized settings.
An initial solutions to upscale and widen spaces, is to reduce the amount of standard solid partitions or walls and replace them with alternative means of spatial separation.
Humans spend almost 90% of the time indoors; that's approximately 20 hours a day in closed rooms and 9 hours a day in our own bedrooms. The architectural configurations of these spaces are not random - that is, they have been designed or thought of by someone, and are at least slightly "guided" by the conditions of their inhabitants and their surroundings. Some people inhabit spaces specially catered to their needs and tastes, while others adapt and appropriate designs made for someone else, perhaps developed decades before they were born. In either case, their quality of life may be better or worse depending on the decisions that are made.
Understanding the importance of carefully designing our interiors, particularly through the lens of access and enjoyment of natural light, was the purpose of the 8th VELUX Daylight Symposium, held on October 9 and 10 of 2019 in Paris. This year, more than 600 researchers and professionals attended and reaffirmed the importance of natural light, presenting a series of concrete tools that could help quantify and qualify light by designing its entry, management, and control with greater depth and responsibility.
Architect Edward Cullinan, founder of Cullinan Studio, has passed away aged 88. The studio announced the death its founder, saying that Cullinan died in his sleep on Monday. Known as Ted, he was awarded the 2008 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in recognition of his inspirational practice and teaching.