Europe has a rich and illustrious history. As a result, some of its most well-known buildings are also among its oldest. However, there are also newer, more modern structures that catch the eye, with contemporary architecture having made its way into the heart of Europe.
A good example is the MAXXI in Rome, a national museum of contemporary art and architecture, which opened in 2010. It was awarded the Stirling Prize for Architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects in the same year. And in an age where modern buildings do not always get the plaudits they deserve, the MAXXI was described by The Guardian newspaper as "a masterwork fit to sit beside Rome's ancient monuments."
Contemporary architecture, of course, calls for the very latest in technology and sustainability. Architects, for example, are figuring out ways to integrate smart technology into buildings, and one of the most fascinating applications is in the hospitality sector, as it will facilitate a long-term reduction in energy use through room-by-room programming.
There is also a trend for indoor-outdoor living. Creating interior biospheres brings the natural world into the house or office while blurring the lines between the two areas with materials such as timber and glass.
With overcrowding and a growing rejection of materialism in Europe, quality over quantity is another major trend. Ground-breaking ideas that allow consumers to make the most of their available space are in high demand. The tiny space revolution is just getting started, with fold-away stairs, moveable walls, and concealed storage.
But it’s not all about new, creative builds. Refurbishing old properties is one of the latest trendy and sustainable approaches that the industry is using to minimise its carbon footprint. And with construction accounting for over 40% of global carbon emissions, it’s a very welcome trend indeed.