Grand, majestic, awe-inspiring. These are all terms that are frequently associated with old, traditional architecture from times gone by.
However, what doesn’t seem to gain the respect it deserves is some of the stunning modern architecture that the 21st century has been blessed with. From new parliament buildings to outstanding galleries, office blocks, and open spaces, there is more beauty to be found in recent constructions that many might think.
Throughout the 20th century, modernism took countries such as Australia by storm, introducing truly iconic buildings such as the Australian Academy of Science and the Queensland Art Gallery. Straight lines, little decoration, and bold, stark contrasts were exciting trends, some of which have continued into the current era.
That said, the following four features have categorically placed a firm grip on this century’s architecture.
1. Large Windows
Large windows have been a feature of Australian architecture since the contemporary era began in the 1950s. Letting in the light, giving facades a clean and simplistic look, and opening interior spaces out onto stunning exterior vistas, large windows are a feature that is here to stay.
While they require regular maintenance, and some find their use in sleeping areas uncomfortable, they remain perfect for kitchen-dining rooms, office buildings, and museums.
However, glass facades are often reasonably expensive as not only do huge panes of glass cost a lot to produce and are often bespoke, but the structural integrity of the wall must be secured by additional metal or concrete support, too.
2. Roofing Shingles
Roofing shingles – usually made out of metal – are a stunning way of providing the exterior of a building with a clean yet textured appearance. Metal roofing shingles can be formed in different designs and shapes, depending on the way the interconnecting tiles of steel, aluminium, brass, copper, or zinc are arranged.
Possible to be produced with recycled materials, the finished product is durable and aesthetically outstanding – roofing shingles provide pleasing contrast against sky and street alike.
3. Expansive Exterior Spaces
After exterior spaces were slightly disregarded in times gone by, a newfound emphasis on the outdoors has been discovered in the architectural field in the 21st century.
The ways in which a family home can be benefitted by exterior space are endless, but it has also been a feature within the centre of Australian cities. Turning grey cities into green ones is a priority across the country as, along with environmental benefits, it is an almost guaranteed way to make somewhere look attractive. In busy, bustling urban areas, an architectural feature that can add tranquillity is a valuable one.
4. Staggered Floor Levels
To end on a slightly more niche note, staggered floor levels is a design feature of a small number of modern buildings that looks truly exceptional. A perfect example of this is the “nhow Amsterdam RAI” hotel – the Benelux region’s largest hotel.
Gravity-defying floors and a geometric outline contribute to an utterly astounding piece of architecture and engineering. Any future developments of this ilk are sure to look fantastic.