For 10 years, Whitespace Architects has been creating beautiful, functional and sustainable projects for both residential and commercial use. Just like contemporary life constantly evolves and changes, there has been no quicker shift in user habits and needs than the lessons the past two years have given us all. Whilst great design and functional architecture should not be rushed, it’s interesting to see the trends for this coming year and onwards almost take a step back. In a time of global flux - what is it we seek?
For the long haul…
In lands of transitional residence and a legacy of short term ownership, we are seeing many owner-occupiers planting firmer roots. Residential design is changing to allow clients a more permanent property that will grow with them and their future needs. ‘Forever homes’ are more popular with a look towards extended family needs and access. Facilities that allow for future enhancements and durability are required for homes that owners intend to stay in
Eco-friendly - no more a buzzword
In the wake of the ever-developing climate crisis, many architects choose to incorporate environmentally conscious choices into their designs. From this, ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ architecture has evolved into its own subcategory over recent years. However, as consumer awareness is greater than ever for renewables and efficiency, we will see more and more demand for sustainability and environmentally sound options in both design and build. Not only protecting the environment, but maintenance costs are also often lowered in the long run too, alongside utility costs, so it is easy to see how the consumer is swayed. In harsher climates such as the Middle East, this is not news, but protection from natural elements and sustainable approaches to landscaping and irrigation are at the forefront as above, with users living in properties for longer. As the world wakes up to the urgency of the climate change emergency – efforts such as this have acquired well-established status within architectural trends and will continue to do so over coming years.
Innovations in health protection
It goes without saying that we are more protective over the health of our families than ever - lessons largely learnt over the past 2 years. New innovations in materials are starting to make their way through to residential projects and we will see them given higher consideration. A good example of this is the ‘whole home’ air purifier and tiling products enhanced with Microban - ensuring as high a sanitation protection as possible.
A staple architectural trend that is not going away any year soon, cleaner lines really lend themselves to the sustainable and environmentally aware demands we are creating more of. Interestingly, this does somewhat contradict cultural fashions for opulence and maximal styles, but also nods back to simpler times, when buildings were generally starker and built in keeping with the local climates and surroundings.
To state the obvious, people are staying at home more and even after lifting enforced restrictions in movement, we forecast that this is not a purely pandemic trend. This coupled with an increased requirement for longevity from their properties means that the owner/occupier is more demanding of their living spaces and their requirements for how they use them have changed. Even in more urban environments, the ability to work comfortably from home, and spend more downtime within your home, indoors or out is more important than ever, and a huge consideration within the design. Previous popularity for more open plan indoor spaces are a victim of this, however, in favour of soundproofing and privacy enabling features.
There is no denying that the past two years have been challenging for the industry and we will continue to see the effects of this throughout the year in terms of delivery, labour, material supply and timelines, but the flipside of all of this is the acceleration of the creativity in design and build that blends the sustainability and thoughtful multifunction of our architecture and design in the residential space.