What Is Contemporary Architecture?

Contemporary architecture is any architecture style that is not modern architecture style. This seems to be a flip answer but an important distinction should be made between contemporary architecture and modern architecture. Modern architecture, born between the early part of the 20th century and the mid half features clean lines and a focus on form and function. This distinction makes modern architecture styles seem impersonal and cold.

Contemporary architecture goes beyond the strict form and function of materials used in building. Contemporary architecture describes those styles that are being implemented today and includes an integration of materials with their natural habitat. Interior and exterior spaces are design to incorporate the environment that they are in and make the design a natural extension of nature.

Examples of Contemporary Architecture Design Styles

A great example of contemporary architecture design is the Guggenheim museum in New York City. Designed by Frank Gehry, considered one of the foremost contemporary architects in the world, the building shows how contemporary design differs greatly from the strict conformity of modern architectural styles. Other examples of contemporary design include the CN Tower in Toronto, Quebec, Canada and the Sydney Opera House located in Sydney, Australia.

Sustainable and Green Building

The introduction of sustainable building and the green movement to architecture is a natural furtherance of contemporary architecture. Sustainable building uses materials that are natural and do not add to the depletion of resources, such as wood and fossil fuels. Sustainable building materials can help reduce carbon emissions and reuse materials without the need to cut down forests and add to environmental waste.

Contemporary Architecture Design in Home Building

More homes are adopting sustainable and green designs. This movement makes contemporary architect the preferred design type for home being built in the United States. The use of living materials in roofs is an element of this move toward contemporary architecture. Other elements include natural flooring such as bamboo, which is a sustainable wood substitute, solar and natural light sources that are highly energy efficient and open floor plans that reduce walls and opens a home’s spaces.

Contemporary architecture styles are also referred to as organic architecture. That is because the style incorporates the natural surrounding near and around the building site and makes them a part of the design element. Trees and plants can become both part and elements of the building. Energy efficiency is promoted and the home is built to become eco-friendly.

Contemporary Architecture Design Influences

Contemporary architecture design and contemporary architects are influenced by the modern architecture movement. The use of clean lines and neat conformity to form and function gave birth to the more free flowing form of contemporary architecture. Although contemporary and modern architecture are not one in the same and mean different things, the movement toward a more uniform perfect form and style has its footprint in much of the contemporary architecture design buildings and homes that you see.