Contemporary Architecture


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While today’s architecture encompasses a wide range of trends and styles, Contemporary architecture builds on the modernism that followed the Industrial Revolution. The uniformity and clean linearity of early modernism began to feel impersonal, and Contemporary responded by maintaining modernism’s open spaces but invigorating them with warmth, whimsy, asymmetry and regional flair. It embraces natural light and, as a dynamic style interacting with its context, considers environmental impact, often opting for eco-friendly materials and technology. Not to be confused with Midcentury Modern architecture, which spans the early 1930s to the late ’60s, Contemporary architecture is very much of the 21st century — and up-to-the-minute.


Unique or imbalanced façades, geometric shapes, composite or recycled materials such as concrete or broken glass, natural elements such as sustainable bamboo flooring, flat or grass-planted roofs, hanging gardens, large windows and skylights, open floor plans, outdoor living areas, sliding doors, movable walls or partitions.


Here, form meets function. Not only do the aesthetics of Contemporary usher nature indoors, its implementation serves sustainability. Energy efficient windows welcome sunshine and can work in tandem with green heating. Cantilevering also allows for buildings to interact with the environment, providing an among-the-clouds airiness while annexing minimal ground space.


Outside Tubac, Arizona, and designed by Rick Joy, the Tyler Residence, with rustic materials and austere structures that bring its saturated desert surrounds into relief. In Portland, Oregon, the dramatically cantilevered Hoke House by Skylab Architecture, nested among the trees of Forest Park. (It was the Cullen family’s house in the movie Twilight.)