Architecture, like any other industry, is subject to trends which can impact all elements of the industry from visual appearance to materials used. Although many architects continue to use traditional design elements which have existed for years, and some even mimic an older style of architecture deliberately, many of us may also take note of trends and use them in our work if they will make a positive impact.
What influences trends in architecture? Quite simply, anything! From legislation surrounding health and safety or the environment, to new technology, to pop culture, there are many factors which impact architectural design – and they are ever changing. New trends are emerging all the time, even more so now with the internet and the ability to garner inspiration from people and places across the world.
Among the many micro-trends which are sure to appear in 2019, we have selected three main trends which are likely to influence the way buildings are designed in the UK this year.
In line with the rise in awareness of environmental issues, the demand for ‘green’ and eco-friendly design and construction is increasing year by year. Living walls, vertical forests and lush roof gardens will continue to appear, especially in urban environments with growing populations and a lack of green spaces. With that, windows and doors will increase in size to let in natural light and promote growth.
We are also going to see higher specifications when it comes to energy, including improvements in draught proofing, heating, ventilation, lighting and water saving systems. Projects such as our eco housing development in Wortham, a local barn conversion and Mere House in Haughley are just a few examples of the ways in which we have already used up-to-date eco-friendly design methods.
With larger populations comes a rise in small-space living. Micro-apartments are a new trend which sees a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living area contained in an apartment space of less than 35 square metres. Within this, you’ll see intelligent storage solutions designed to make the most of the available space, such as beds built above workstations, customisable modular shelving walls and surfaces which can be tucked away when not in use.
It’s likely that cohousing will make many appearances in new developments throughout the UK. Consisting of a cluster of homes built around a shared facility such as a private park, cohousing has the intended benefit of encouraging community and social growth. Our sheltered housing project in Coddenham is one example of how a communal atmosphere can be achieved without compromising on privacy.
Similarly, multi-generational living is set to increase, with homes accommodating three generations or more. This could amplify the amount of ‘granny flats’ integrated into new and existing developments, with attic, basement and bungalow conversions and extensions providing suitable options.
Over the past few years, smart home devices have become the must-have piece of tech in homes across the country. We can control our electric blinds, lamps and heating, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. In the future, we may be able to control the functions of an entire building from one device.
This year, we can expect more research into what can be achieved with smart technology in architecture. From microclimates which shift as a person moves from room to room, to controlling the amount of UV light that enters through a window, there are so many possibilities when it comes to smart buildings. However, it’s not just about directly improving the quality of living at one moment in time; this kind of technology also ties into our first point, regarding eco-friendly architecture. A smart building could lower its own impact on the environment by monitoring and optimising energy use, air toxicity and even waste disposal.
If we’ve given you a bright idea with one of these architecture trends and you’re interested in applying it to a project, we would be happy to discuss it further at a free consultation. Call us today on 01284 760421, or visit our contact page here.