7 architecture trends to look out for in 2024
Architecture is constantly changing and evolving. That is one of the reasons why it is such an exciting field to work in. There are a number of factors that are driving this change.
Technology is making advances all the time. New building techniques such as 3D printing have emerged. More advanced building materials are becoming available. Computer-assisted technology is helping us to be more ambitious in our design approach. And the smart technologies that we can now design into our buildings are opening up new ways of living and working.
People’s needs and lifestyles keep changing and adapting. For example, the pandemic caused a major disruption in working habits, with a dramatic shift towards remote working. That effect is still being felt, and is changing the way people think about their homes and their places of work.
Concern for the environment and a desire for sustainability in building and design is a huge global trend. This is driving demand for more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient buildings, in a way that impacts all aspects of architectural design.
Let’s take a look at seven key trends in architecture that we can expect to grow in importance during 2024:
- Adaptive reuse. This is the practice of repurposing existing buildings for new functions, and has been gaining prominence over recent years. Architects are finding innovative ways to transform buildings such as warehouses, factories and churches into contemporary spaces for homes, offices, or cultural centres. This helps to preserve some of our most characterful buildings by giving them a new lease of life. This also helps to support sustainable urban development, by minimising demolition and reducing building waste.
- New construction techniques. Modular and prefabricated construction methods can offer advantages in faster project completion, reduced material wastage, and lower costs. Architects will increasingly use this approach to create spaces that are flexible, efficient, and customizable. This could be a particularly valuable approach in the construction of public buildings such as schools and hospitals. Meanwhile, 3D printing, which had previously been used for specific components, is being used more widely for building construction. For example, a non-profit construction company called Building For Humanity, has announced plans to build the UK’s first 3D-printed homes at a site in Lancashire. It will construct 46 eco-friendly homes targeted at low income families, in the largest scheme of its kind in Europe.
- Smart technology. We can expect to see more architectural products that use smart technologies to enhance the way we live. Increasingly, smart technologies will seamlessly integrate into the fabric of our homes, enhancing convenience, efficiency, and security. From intelligent thermostats that learn and adapt to occupants’ preferences, to interconnected appliances communicating for optimal energy usage, homes will evolve into responsive ecosystems. Automated lighting systems will adjust to occupants’ daily routines, optimizing both energy consumption and comfort. Voice-activated assistants will manage household tasks and enable a ‘hands-free’ living experience. The growing application of sensors and smart devices will help to create a more connected and intelligent living environment.
- Inclusive design. It is important that buildings are designed for all, regardless of their physical ability. Architects and designers increasingly prioritize universal design principles, ensuring spaces cater to individuals of diverse abilities and needs. Ramps, elevators, and tactile signage become integral elements, eliminating barriers for those with mobility challenges or visual impairments. Thoughtful consideration is given to colour contrast, lighting, and acoustics to accommodate individuals with sensory sensitivities. Ultimately, an inclusive approach in building design fosters environments where everyone, regardless of ability, feels empowered, comfortable, and fully engaged.
- Sustainable design. Architects will integrate eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient systems, and passive design strategies to minimize ecological impact. Solar panels and advanced insulation will enhance energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint. Embracing principles of reuse and recycling, sustainable design often incorporates reclaimed materials, minimizing waste. The result is well-designed structures that prioritize energy conservation, and contribute to a resilient, low-impact future. Sustainable building design not only conserves resources but creates a more environmentally conscious and resilient built environment.
- Biophilic design. This uses architecture to reflect our connection to nature, which fosters a feeling of well-being within our built spaces. Architects integrate natural elements like plants, water features, and organic materials to create a powerful relationship between the indoors and outdoors. Maximizing natural light, views of greenery, and ventilation, biophilic design improves productivity, reduces stress, and enhances overall health. By incorporating patterns and textures inspired by nature, structures become more aesthetically pleasing and resonate with our in-built affinity for the natural world. Perhaps one of the most extreme examples of biophilic architecture is the HQ of Apple Corporation, Apple Park in California. This circular building is designed to embrace the shape of the land. It is surrounded by a forest of around 9,000 trees and, with a hollowed-out centre full of wildlife, provides employees with a space for well-being and a connection with nature.
- Resilient design. This is an aspect of architecture that has come to the fore in the face of climate change and more extreme weather events. According to the Resilient Design Institute, resilience is the ability to adapt to changing conditions and maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance. It’s the ability to prepare for and bounce back from catastrophic events. In the UK, we are experience a higher frequency of heavy storms and flood events. Therefore, in building design, there is an increased focus on flood-resistant materials and stormwater management. Resilient buildings might be designed with higher storm resistance or stronger foundations to better withstand flooding.
You can see that 2024 promises to be another exciting year for architecture, as it continues to rapidly evolve to meet our changing needs. These trends also illustrate the vital role that architecture plays in influencing the way that we live, work, and connect with the world around us.
If you have an exciting building project planned for 2024, then speak to the friendly, expert team at CAD Architects, for a no-obligation, initial discussion.
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