Residential design styles have always changed, driven by different forces. Much of it has been functional. Before the advent of air conditioning or modern heating the prevailing architecture was comfort oriented. Some of these functional adaptations were things like high ceilings and thick walls.
Functionality was not the only force. Culture and security have also influenced factors. What has changed as we have moved into the modern era that we find ourselves in? Although we cannot project what will happen far into the future, we can say with certainty what’s driving today’s design styles and shaping the architecture of the foreseeable future.
A popular functional style is sustainable or green design. Visual design styles may or may not utilize green design concepts.
Passive Solar Design Works with the Sun
In most areas, the sun and the heat it generates are our friends and our enemies with respect to how much energy our homes consume. Passive solar design seeks to use architecture to work with the forces of nature, not to simply try to correct its effects. In short, the intent is to absorb solar energy during the cold winter months and reject it during the warm winter.
Residential design points to consider:
- Obviously, windows are critical when bending the sun’s energy to our will. Window concentration should be on the sides of the house that receive the winter sun. (Initial home alignment may take this into consideration.)
- Thermal mass is considered when specifying building materials.
- Like windows, sunrooms and solariums are situated where they can be enjoyed during the cooler months.
The Urban or Industrial Design Style
This visual design style is often associated with inner city industrial lofts that have been reclaimed as living areas. These spaces are characterized by stark brick walls and ample use of rough wood and metal. The floor plan is generally open with any walls kept to a minimum. The overall feel may be described as minimalist.
More Styles with Staying Power
- Revival architecture marries the past to the present by taking Tudor or colonial style and giving it a modern touch.
- Thinking of a beach house? The Mediterranean look is timeless.
- As the name implies, contemporary style incorporates what is happening “now.” Now may keep changing, but never so quickly that it can’t be kept up with. In that sense, contemporary owns the future like no other style.
We predict as technology becomes prevalent, there will also be a shift to “smart home” in the future. In fact, it’s happening already where smart phones can control refrigerators, security systems and much more. What do you predict the future of architecture will hold?