2016 left us with a variety of incipient architectural trends that promise to carry on to 2017 and get even bigger; the common catalyst in all of them is the scarcity of urban plots and the need to incorporate sustainable features into projects.
Black facades were present in many projects in 2016, and they promise to make a big appearance in 2017.
Black helps to highlight the overall shape of the project, minimizing distractions and making it appear cleaner. It also enhances translucent features, such as windows and glassed portions of the facade, making the building look lighter and perforated. Its lack of light reflection makes it the perfect facade choice to blend in with the building's surroundings or adjacent structures.
Black Villa: Brussels, Belgium, 2016, K2 Architects
Rijswijk Barn: Rijswijk, Holland, 2016, Workshop architecten
House in Koidu: Koidu, Estonia, 2016, Kadarik Tuur Arhitektid
As our cities continue to increase their density, urban lots become scarce and expensive; these narrow houses or urban infills, are born as an answer to this problem, as a cheap, space saving alternative to building in high-density settings.
They make use of vacant interstitial spaces, such as alleys or dividing walls between constructed lots. This trend will continue to grow strong in 2017.
Dengshikou house: Dengshikou, China, 2016, B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio
Studio House: Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico, 2016, Intersticial Arquitectura
Maison T House: Ha Nội, Vietnam, 2016, Nghia-Architects
Renovating an existent building is not only cheaper than demolishing it and building on top of it: it's also a sustainable practice, and an efficient spatial use alternative in our evergrowing cities, which tells us this trend will only spread wider on 2017.
These renovations not only change or improve the pre-existing interior design; they add new spaces to the building- using the existent structure as a base- integrating them to the new use or design the construction is given, thus gifting the old building with a new life.
Houses in Castlewood Avenue: Dublin, Ireland, 2016, ODOS architects
Scenario's House: London, England, 2016, Scenario Architecture
Antwerp Port House: Antwerp, Belgium, 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects
Interior gardens offer an alternative to urban buildings with little space available, and provide larger projects with a much-needed space fragmentation to promote more intimate spaces; they add breathable areas into the project's layout, act as ambient separators, help with temperature control and add a sense of tranquility to its adjacent spaces, creating an oasis of peace in an otherwise busy setting.
The Drawers House: Vung Tau, Vietnam, 2016, MIA Design Studio
Aamchit Courtowers: Aamchit, Lebanon, 2016, Hashim Sarkis
Garden House: Da Nẵng, Vietnam, 2016, Ho Khue Architects
Environmental awareness has been an important topic these last couple of years, and eco-friendly architecture will only get more attention in 2017. The use of sustainable materials, passive energy saving designs, water saving, low carbon print construction techniques and alternative energy harvesting methods are now something every design should at least consider.
Low Energy Consumption Residences: Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain, 2016, Fontdevila Casajuana Arquitectes
Tamalpais Residence: Mill Valley, CA, USA, 2016, Zack de Vito Architecture + Construction
Palatine Passive House: Seattle, WA, USA, 2016, Malboeuf Bowie Architecture
KODA: Tallin, Estonia, 2016, Kodasema
Metallic facades offer an advantage if thinking about long-term building maintenance; they don't need to be repainted every year, the planks are cheap and easy to replace, and they effectively protect the underlying structure of the building by protecting it from humidity and other weather related conditions.
Aesthetically, they provide the opportunity to design a cohesive facade including the roof into it, creating the illusion of a solid one-piece volume; some metallic claddings are also designed for protection by creating a layer of rust, which adds to the texture richness of the project.
House for Mother: Linkoping, Sweden, 2016, Forstberg Ling
Haskell Health House: Austin, TX, USA, 2016, Weaver Buildings
TRANSCO: Decin, Czech Republic, 3+1 architekti
Timber cladding, either as a product of a naked timber structure or a decorative facade, offers a texture rich alternative to projects; it blends perfectly in natural settings, it adds softness to its surroundings in urban settings, and it's also a sustainable alternative since trees are a renewable natural source. Whether they're constituted of a series of shingles or panels, timber cladding's modular nature makes it easy to replace in the event of a damaged piece.
WUK-1 Sacha Yaku: Papallacta, Ecuador, 2016, ERDC Arquitectos
"A" House: Minsk, Belarus, 2016, Igor Petrenko
Kap House: Singapore, 2016, ONG&ONG Pte Ltd
Romsdal Folk Museum: Molde, Norway, 2016, Reiulf Ramstad Architects