Here at JDW, we are always on the lookout for innovative architecture, and we keep up to date with the latest news and trends to emerge from the industry.
Here are some of our favourite trends!
Heating can be expensive, leaving many unable to afford to properly heat their homes. As well as the issue of fuel poverty, traditional heating systems have a huge environmental impact. Architects, engineers and designers must work collaboratively to produce solutions, with progress already being made. One environmentally friendly option is geothermal heating. Although these systems come with high installation costs, they work by utilising energy that is naturally stored in the ground, ensuring running costs remain low.
To better control the temperature in homes and commercial buildings, investing in high-quality insulation has long-term benefits. Many of the standard insulation products are manufactured from synthetic materials, but there are now several companies across the UK offering sheep’s fleece insulation. This product is both sustainable and natural, and its extremely absorbent properties allow it to regulate humidity as well as temperature.
We know that environmental concerns are prevalent, and you can read more about that here. We work to minimise our impact on the earth, and we are always inspired by architects who find new ways to do this.
We are all being encouraged to recycle, and the same applies to architecture. Architects have begun to experiment with sustainable materials such as recycled plastics. We believe that if recycled materials can be used and achieve the same durability as traditional materials, they could re-establish the norms in architectural developments.
Colombian company Conceptos Plásticos specialises in using recycled materials to create compact bricks. In 2015, the company used the material to build a hostel, which provided dozens of families with a safe place to stay. The bricks are biodegradable, but are expected to remain solid for centuries, and can construct a home both quickly and at low cost. We’re really excited to see how this trend develops.
Using natural materials and developing buildings to blend with their environment is in keeping with Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of organic architecture, which strives for architecture to smoothly fit into its environment. Wright believed that buildings should be developed in agreement with nature, rather than disturbing it.
Also fitting with the overarching aim of eco-friendly development is the trend for natural lighting. This trend is also prevalent in Scandinavia (read more about Scandi trends below), where long winters and short hours of sunlight each day mean people are keen to enjoy as much sunlight as possible. To achieve this, window and door placement, as well as direction, must be considered throughout the architectural design process.
In architecture, utilising natural light for maximum benefit is known as ‘sunlighting’. Naturally lit rooms are not only visually appealing but provide long-term cost efficiency. The need for electric lighting is reduced, and rooms can benefit from natural heating.
The popularity of Scandinavian styles is not particularly recent, but it’s an aesthetic that remains popular. Successful architecture combined with slick interior design can create a Scandinavian inspired space that incorporates the very best in spacious yet snug aesthetics.
The recent hygge trend celebrated all things comfort. From an architectural perspective, this meant subtle nooks for reading or relaxing and easily heated rooms.
Since the hygge trend, lagom has emerged as the new must-have design. Translating to ‘just enough’ in Swedish, lagom encourages the simpler things in life. Minimalism and practicality are in and extravagant designs are out.
Though examples of postmodern architecture can be seen pre-1970s, this was the decade that saw its popularity increase. Le Corbusier was influential in this movement, which was a form of rebellion against modernism. Postmodernism challenges the common building styles of its era. Developing buildings which stray from the ‘standard’ ideas can be achieved by experimenting with shapes, scale, sizing and colours.