Smart cities, functional life and sustainability
During the next weeks, we will expose the different architectural styles that are expected for the next months and years. It seems that our day by day will change completely, as our cities will become increasingly smart cities, focused on functionality and also on space optimization. The incredible progress of technology influences on Architecture, and it can have a big impact on the economy, the daily lives of people and the productivity of companies.
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In this context, new styles are appearing or becoming more and more popular, and we pretend to talk about some of them in our next posts of this blog.
The legend says that the artist Michelangelo, once upon a time when he was working on a piece of art, someone asked him how could he create such beautiful sculptures, and he replied that the figure was already in the block of marble, and his only function was to remove what was left. This philosophy expresses the essence of minimalism. According to minimalist philosophy, perfection is reached, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove.
Miles van der Rohe is considered the father of architectural minimalism, and he defined this style with his famous quote “less is more” and “God is in the details”. With these expressions, he described his aesthetic way of arranging the necessary elements of a building in order to create an impact of extreme simplicity. He designed the Barcelona Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition, known until today as a reference of modern architecture, where van der Rohe used some extravagant materials, such as marble, red onyx and travertine marble.
Another architectural style is high tech, also called Structural Expressionism. This style started in the 1970s, with works such as the HSBC in Hong Kong headquarters, designed by Norman Foster. This style incorporates components of industry and technology into building design.
Industrial materials no longer make sense nowadays, from the point of view of sustainable architecture, but the technology still has a lot to offer from the perspective of functional and intelligent design. For this reason, what is becoming more and more popular is a new architectural style known as eco-tech, seeking a balance between progress and sustainability.
Sustainable architecture is a style that seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by optimization in the use of materials and an increase of efficiency. This style promotes a more conscious use of energy and resources: light, water, temperature… Some modern houses reflect perfectly this architectural style. They are modern buildings that optimize light, for example, designing large windows, providing all interior corners a natural atmosphere.
LARANJEIRAS – RJ was built on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro, and it is a work of the brazilian architect Fernanda Marques. Light, in this particular case, has an additional function, as a source of energy. This house is a great example of fusion between modernity and sustainability. The materials are mainly marble, natural stone and wood.
Modern architecture combines different materials, such as marble, natural stones or steel. But it is not the only thing that the last styles of architecture seek to match: the different needs of people when they live and work. This style can be defined as an integration of different functions in time and space. It makes sense in a society like ours, where the lack of space is a real problem in the big city, and also the lack of time for big trips in the day by day. The Sports Center of Suzhou (gmp – Architeketen von Gerkan, Marg und Partner), in China, is a multi-functional building that will include sports complex, a commercial center, aquatics facility, gymnasium, recreation spaces, professional sports stadium and more. A lot of modern architects are starting to design multi-functional spaces, and it seems that there will be more and more in the future.
Camouflaged architecture is becoming more and more popular. The STPMJ study of New York is an example of this architectural style, that pretends to hide the building using some techniques to make it invisible. The Tower Infinity in South Korea (GDS ) is an example of invisible skyscraper. His transparency lends a special beauty to the building. Other emblematic examples of this style are the Pavilion for an Artist / Bureau LADA or the Philadelphia’s Cira Center by Cesar Pelli.
Invisibility also operates from the inside out, because many homes and offices have increasingly large windows that reduce the boundaries between inside and outside, and makes the landscape become the bottom wall of many recent architectural works. The term “invisible architecture” is also used to talk about reducing noise in the interior, since it is generally a way to avoid optical and sensory distractions.