A look into the future: the best objects of modern architecture


Cloud houses, lianas houses, ghost houses with moving façades, a super eco-friendly incinerator combined with a ski slope – everything else yesterday belonged to the category of fantasy, took on real shape. It is believed that the future has already arrived. Marina Shirskaya reports

Modern architecture is no longer a “stone book” telling about the cosmic order of things. Even in the recent past, her language was based on all understandable symbols. The classic image of the Parthenon celebrated power and longevity. Postmodernism used these same codes, turning them upside down, playing with proportions to affirm the ideals of consumption, comfort and entertainment. Since then, as Buckminster Fuller aptly pointed out, architecture has become increasingly ephemeral.

She made her steepest turn on the day Frank Gehry donated the building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to the world. It broke all existing stereotypes and, surprisingly, was able to satisfy investors, critics and direct consumers alike. Having become a symbol of new architecture, this project did not set a rigid framework and thus marked the beginning of an era of individualization, depriving us in passing of the opportunity to talk about styles that from time immemorial reflected collective values. The era of the perception of architecture as a conventional symbol of the universal order and a source of truth is over. Our contemporary in the era of the development of new methods of communication has completely different opportunities to receive information. It is now stored not in heavy tectonic structures, but in intangible clouds. A person analyzes a huge amount of data and forms their own values, and this affects how modern architecture looks and how we relate to it.

In order for architecture from ephemeral to become tangible again, it must be populated with new myths, in which modern rational viewers will believe. The search for new ideas does not stop. More and more new specialists are involved in projects, sociologists, psychologists, biologists and anthropologists join the designers and engineers.

It seems that today, conscious consumption and respect for nature is the only principle that unites the most advanced architectural buildings of recent years. Architects strive for a common goal in different ways. Some – through attempts to be on a human scale, some – through contrast and originality, others, on the contrary, through merging with nature. Someone saturates the already built with new functions, someone develops innovative materials and introduces new technologies that allow saving all known types of energy. Wooden skyscrapers, vertical gardens, almost self-sustaining houses are all obvious signs of the future.

1 Printer vs builder

In 2019, the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Houben & amp; Van Mierlo plans to rent out the first 3D-printed Milestone residential buildings. A queue has already lined up for them. The giant robotic arm works faster and more efficiently than humans, uses less mortar and leaves almost no debris. The houses are planned to be built in turn, so that, if necessary, make important design changes. Some will be equipped with sensors that control heating, lights and alarms. This method will reduce CO2 emissions by reducing traffic.


2 glamorous resort & amp; garbage

In the near future, the Amager Bakke waste recycling plant, nicknamed by the residents of Copenhill, will become Copenhagen's most popular holiday destination. The BIG bureau has already launched an enterprise capable of burning 35 tons of waste per hour while reducing CO2 emissions by 99.5%, the energy generated by this is sent to the city's heating systems. Sometimes a ring of white smoke flies out of the chimney, announcing that another ton of carbon dioxide has been released into the air. In 2018, work is being completed on the creation of a park area on the roof of the plant with a 600-meter ski slope, hiking trails, 80-meter climbing walls, a viewing platform and a restaurant. The project cost Denmark $ 660 million.


3 economically – means fashionable

Critics skeptically dubbed Bloomberg's newly built London headquarters “just another shopping mall.” However, according to BREEAM (a method for assessing the environmental performance of buildings), it received the highest rating (98.5) among office buildings of this size. The technologies used by the architects Foster + Partners provide energy savings of 35% and 73% of water, and 500 thousand LED bulbs consume 40% less energy than conventional luminaires. The mirrored ceiling panels developed for this project are responsible for the brightness of the LEDs, acoustics, cooling and heating of the premises. The vacuum toilets use rainwater and the bronze trims on the façade automatically open for ventilation.


4 lift my eyelids

Other wonderful guests from the future are two new buildings of the architectural and entertainment complex The Imprint, built by MVRDV near Incheon Airport in Seoul. The architects tried to take into account the existing development by transferring the details of neighboring buildings to the concrete cladding of the facades. And at the same time, be ultra-modern, making the solid material look like a pliable fabric: some elements of the façade seem to float, and the entrances to the pavilions look like a pulled back curtain, beckoning to go inside, where glass floors made of multimedia screens are reflected in curved mirrored ceilings.


5 sim sim, open up!

An unusual residential building with five apartments, equipped with hydraulic mechanisms, has recently appeared in Zurich. The windows are framed by drop-down panels painted in twenty shades of red and blue, which serve as shutters when closed and turn into balconies and partitions when opened. In creating this kinetic miracle, architect Manuel Herz was inspired by the works of Jean Tinguel and Alexander Calder from the owner's collection, as well as the nearby Heidi Weber Museum, built by Le Corbusier.


6 secretive

The desire to blend in with the landscape was a major challenge in the design of the Bukkekjerka recreational area in Norway. This small complex, which is called the most beautiful public toilet in the world, was created by the architectural firm Morfeus. The main volume of the pavilion is formed by a concrete slab, which wraps around it in a broken line and turns into paths diverging in different directions. A small rectangular room is built into the resulting loop, the walls of which are faced with stainless steel polished to a mirror shine. The only panoramic window overlooking the ocean is fitted with mirrored glass.


7 hazy future

Several signs at once make it possible to classify the sales office of China's largest developer Sunac as a building of the future. The Chinese believe that the contrast between nature and a man-made object should be kept to a minimum. The architects from AOE achieved the desired effect by hanging a giant wire mesh curtain from the far-protruding cornice of the building. The air passage between the façade and the curtain protects the house from overheating and allows significant energy savings. In the future, the house will change its function – it will be transferred to the kindergarten.


8 Thousand Trees

Having received for the construction of a multifunctional complex a section of the park facing the river, sandwiched on three sides by concrete jungle, Thomas Heatherwick suggested that the customer not build another skyscraper, but create an artificial landscape that would preserve the green zone in this area of ​​Shanghai. This is how the project “1000 trees” appeared – two “hills” with 400 terraces formed by adjacent volumes of different heights. Numerous support pillars of the complex are brought out, and each is crowned with a giant tub with a tree planted in it.


9 what does the facade hide?

Besides the new building of the Basel Kunstmuseum, designed by Christ & amp; Gantenbein is an example of respect for historical buildings, it has one interesting technical feature. At a height of 12 meters, a three-meter frieze stretches along all seven facades of the multifaceted volume with a total length of 115 meters. More than 1,300 white LEDs invisible from the street are embedded in the joints between the cleverly folded bricks. With their help, the brickwork of the frieze turns into a real media facade, through which you can launch messages about ongoing exhibitions and cultural events. The LEDs are controlled by sensors installed on the roof, which can adjust the brightness of the creeping line in accordance with the time of day.


Text: Marina Shirskaya

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