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5 architecture trends to watch out for in 2017

5 architecture trends to watch out for in 2017

A bewildering number of factors are set to shape building design worldwide across the next 12 months. New building technologies; global connectivity; the growing importance of eco-friendly practices and materials; these are just some of the issues at play in the world of architecture.


The pace of architecture remains rapid, taking into account the world’s ever changing topographical, contextual, economic and societal landscapes. Brace yourself as WorldBuild365 takes you through what you can expect from the architectural world in 2017 and beyond.


Smart architecture is on its way


This is not to say that architecture is not already a highly intellectual, as well as creative, discipline. Moreover, smart architecture refers to the growing interconnectivity of buildings, devices and the internet. The availability of internet connections, coupled with the prevalence of connectable devices able to connect to it, is changing living and working habits. Architecture is thus adapting to this ultra-modern phenomenon. 


The transformable kitchen from Warendorf. © Warendorf


Transformable spaces, reacting to the changing needs of building occupants, are the hot trend of 2017. The goal now is to create homes and offices that can be quickly and affordably altered to suit occupants’ needs. Additionally, technologies such as heating controls are to be worked into design elements for a seamless blend of dissimilar parts.


A resurgence of traditional building materials


2017 will see architects, engineers and building specifiers look to the past to create a better future when it comes to building materials. Traditional choices, such as timber and compacted earth, are seeing a resurgence in projects worldwide – and this trend is set to continue. 


Some markets are ahead of the curve in this respect. Vancouver-based Michael Green Architecture completed the largest mass-timber building in North America in November 2016, the T3 building in Minneapolis (below). London, Vancouver, New York and Moscow are just some of the major cities turning to timber for their construction needs.



© Ema Peter


Why are such materials being rehabilitated by the international design community? Sustainability first and foremost, followed by the chance to breathe new life into older methodologies in order to create fantastic new structures. 


Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration


The constraints of the modern world are altering not just the size and shape of buildings, but also the way design is approached. 2017 will see architects increasingly reach out to specialists operating across a number of fields. Expect to see physicists, environmental scientists and social anthropologists enjoying expanded roles in the building projects of the future. 


Innovation in the building world requires more open and collaborative practices. Knowledge and skill taken from a variety of applicable fields will remain a high priority for the foreseeable future, as new technologies, societal demands and environmental concerns coalesce. 


Public/private spaces begin to blur


The distinction between private and public spaces will become ever slighter from 2017 onwards, thanks to top-down demand from major corporations. Essentially, this means buildings, apart from private areas, will have to integrate a greater variety of public amenities. 


It appears to be internet giants leading this charge. The headquarters of Facebook, Google and LinkedIn are practically micro-cities in themselves – and each company is expanding its global office presence significantly. Other such public/private buildings include their own recycling facilities alongside other features usually considered public demand. 


Energy efficiency is shaping building design for the better


Architecture is a socially conscious art form, drawing on the needs of the population during all stages of the design. And, with rising energy prices and the looming spectre of global warming, energy efficiency is a top priority for the construction industry.


Buildings will thusly incorporate more sustainable materials with low embodied energy ratings. This includes materials such as timber, mentioned earlier. Another way of ensuring lower energy consumption is incorporating solar panels into new builds. Many residential developments utilise these and even sell excess energy back into national grids. Commercial architects are working solar panels into large-scale developments in a similar fashion.



© Tesla


With manufacturers such as Tesla creating solar roof tiles nearly indistinguishable from conventional shingles (above), the aesthetic options are opening up for a new generation of building professionals.



Whatever the future, be prepared with WorldBuild365’s product catalogue


In the face of the ever-changing world of architecture, there is one thing you can rely on: the WorldBuild365 product category. Whatever your project’s requirements, you are sure to find construction materials and products from a wealth of leading worldwide manufacturers. Visit today to find the products you need from suppliers you can trust.

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